SALEM — When state courthouses reopen next week, don't forget your mask — and a pen.

With the courts set for a limited re-opening next week, officials have laid out some ground rules, including screening at the door and requiring all visitors to wear a mask. People should also remain at least six feet apart. 

Officials are also asking people to bring their own pen with them to complete paperwork.

Most proceedings will still be conducted virtually. On Aug. 10, the courts will begin a second phase of re-opening that will bring back more in-person proceedings.  

Starting Monday, members of the public who have cases or who are on probation, lawyers, witnesses, jurors, law enforcement, media, service providers and others whose work takes them into the courthouse will be allowed to enter after completing a screening. 

That screening will include a temperature check. No one with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will be admitted, though a second test can be given. No one will be allowed to enter the building without a mask. 

Once they pass the screening, visitors will be allowed to attend proceedings taking place at the courthouse, make filings or conduct other business with a clerk or register, or check in with a probation officer. 

People who have shown any symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, chills, sore throat or a severe cough, shortness of breath, severe muscle pain, headache, loss of taste or smell, headache, extreme fatigue, or gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea or vomiting will be barred from entry. 

Anyone who has tested positive for the virus, lives with someone who has tested positive, is waiting for results from a test or who has been advised to quarantine is also barred from entry. 

Face masks will be required for anyone older than 2 years. Inside, people will be asked to stay at least six feet apart. Access to some offices, as well as elevators, restrooms and waiting areas, will be limited to accomplish that. 

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis. 

Recommended for you