A north courtroom was thrown into disarray today when it emerged that a member of staff had tested positive for Covid-19.
It resulted in a sheriff and a clerk being sent home – along with several other members of staff – and being advised by NHS Test and Protect to self-isolate as a precaution.
The drama happened as fiscal depute David Morton, who was sitting more than two metres away from the sheriff and her clerk, was dealing with business.
Several lawyers had also been in the same court, as well as two journalists and a member of Criminal Justice Social Work staff. All of them had been adopting social distancing.
After the courtroom was temporarily abandoned for the morning, it was back in use briefly in the afternoon but then closed again with the remaining business transferred to another room.
Some were questioning why, if the positive test was known before the court began, no court users had been previously informed.
One lawyer said: “It beggars belief that this has been kept quiet for so long. Everyone had a right to know of this development so each individual could make up his or her own mind about what to do.”
The Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service said: “A positive case involving a staff member at Inverness was confirmed to SCTS.
“In any positive case advice is taken from NHS Test and Protect on the need for identified contacts to self-isolate as a precaution. Those steps have been taken and other building occupants advised.
“The Justice Centre remains open with all appropriate measures in place.”