BOSTON (AP) — With the coronavirus infection rate rapidly climbing in Massachusetts, the state court system on Friday announced a further postponement of the resumption of jury trials.

Trials were scheduled to resume on a limited basis on Nov. 30, but that has now been pushed back until Jan. 11, the Supreme Judicial Court and Trial Court announced.

When they resume, trials will at first have six-person juries and will be held in a limited number of courthouses for approximately two months. Safety measures, including face coverings and plexiglass shields, will be put in place.

The Trial Court also is identifying and securing jury trial locations in counties that do not have courthouses suitable for conducting jury trials during the pandemic.

The Office of Jury Commissioner will cancel jurors summoned for dates before the new resumption date and trials currently scheduled will be rescheduled.

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MASSPORT TROUBLES

The state agency that owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport must cut about 25% of its workforce amid a $400 million budget deficit brought on by a steep drop in travel during the coronavirus pandemic, agency executives say.

The savings will come from a combination of layoffs, voluntary buyouts of union and administrative workers, and furloughs of administrative staff, CEO Lisa Wieland told the Massachusetts Port Authority's board on Thursday, according to the Boston Herald.

The voluntary program will begin immediately, and the layoffs are expected in January.

Logan had 42 million passengers last year. This year, the “optimistic” forecast was 22 million, and the “worst case” 13 million, according to Massport.

Logan’s passenger numbers are down to what they were in the mid-1970s, Wieland said. Traffic last month was nearly 80% below October 2019.

The board approved Wieland’s proposal to begin the downsizing.

Board Chairman Lewis Evangelidis said the pandemic has led to “in many ways a worst-case scenario if not worse than the worst-case scenario.”

Massport previously announced it would halt some major construction projects and implement other cost savings measures to help plug the revenue gap in an effort to avoid layoffs.

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LATEST FIGURES

State public health officials on Friday reported nearly 2,300 new cases and 34 new confirmed deaths, pushing Massachusetts' overall caseload over 194,000 and the death toll to just under 10,240.

Authorities said more than 900 people remained hospitalized.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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