8th District judge holding virtual court hearings while waiting for results of COVID-19 test

Some Eighth Judicial District court hearings will be held using virtual courtroom technology after Judge Melissa Listug was tested for COVID-19 Monday.

The Eighth District, which encompasses Big Stone, Chippewa, Grant, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Meeker, Pope, Renville, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Wilking and Yellow Medicine counties in Minnesota, made the announcement Thursday.

Those with scheduled hearings should hear from the court soon about how their scheduled appearance will take place. The majority of those hearings will be for people who are in custody.

Judge Listug went into self-quarantine Saturday and has been told to expect test results within three to seven days.

Before she knew of her potential exposure to COVID-19, however, Listug attended a meeting with all 11 judges of the district, an appeals court judge and two court administrative staff members.

Listug held hearings in both the Pope County Courthouse and the Kandiyohi County Courthouse since her exposure. Both counties have been asked to clean the buildings consistent with CDC recommendations.

All the other judges in the district are isolating and following social distancing protocols until March 27, which is 14 days after their possible exposure.