UPDATE: Court responds to local attorney who says she was ordered to court despite feeling sick, has since tested positive for COVID-19

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UPDATE: Kern County Superior Court officials have responded to Shawwa’s allegations, issuing the following statement:

“A review of the communications between the Court and Ms. Shawwa show that there was not a direct order requiring Ms. Shawwa to attend court, and there was a misunderstanding as to Ms. Shawwa’s physical condition.  The court was notified on Monday, June 29, 2020 that Ms. Shawwa was tested for COVID-19.

“However, on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 the court understood that Ms. Shawwa attributed her physical symptoms to allergies, and not to a possible COVID-19 condition.  Ms. Shawwa informed the court that she was actually feeling better on June 30, 2020. 

“Ms. Shawwa, who was at her office at the time of the telephone communication on June 30, 2020, did not oppose the court’s request that she come into court to address the pending trial issues.  When Ms. Shawwa appeared in court she maintained an appropriate social distance from other court participants and she wore her facial covering during the appearance.”

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A local attorney who takes on cases through the county’s Indigent Defense Program says she was ordered to return to court despite feeling sick, and has now tested positive for COVID-19.

Mai Saleh Shawwa wrote on Facebook last week that she had been feeling sick the last weekend of June and got tested for the coronavirus.

“Judge ORDERED me in court despite everything I told him,” she wrote. “Today I got my results that I’m positive for Covid 19.”

Shawwa expressed frustration at being told she had to turn up even though she was trying to be cautious and prevent anyone else from being exposed to her.

“As you all know Kern County Superior Court decided to resume business as usual as if reality wasn’t happening around us,” she wrote.

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