Due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, the courthouses of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California have instituted the following safety protocols.  These protocols will remain in effect until further notice.  Please note that at this time, only court staff, jurors, potential jurors, and persons who have been authorized by a judge or the Clerk of Court may enter courthouse property.

For the San Francisco Courthouse:  all court staff or persons who are authorized to visit a courtroom or the Jury Office (Floors 15, 16, 17, 18, or 19) must enter through the Turk Street entrance.

For all courthouse locations (San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and Eureka/McKinleyville), the following protocols apply:

Before leaving home to visit the courthouse

    • Mandatory Pre-Screening Questionnaire:
      Courthouse visitors are required to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms by reviewing the pre-screening questionnaire available on the court’s website at If you answer “yes” to any of the questions, please follow the instructions on the form.
    • The pre-screening questionnaire is available in the following languages:
      Arabic, Chinese, English, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
    • Visitors will not be screened by building security for COVID-19 symptoms.

Entering the building and public spaces

  • Only court staff, jurors, potential jurors, and persons who have been authorized by a judge or the Clerk of Court will be permitted to enter courthouse property. Members of the press and public may access proceedings by teleconference or videoconference only.
  • All visitors (employees and non-employees) are required to wear a face covering to enter the building. Surgical or N95 masks are acceptable but not required; a cloth face covering that covers both the nose and mouth is acceptable.
  • Entrances, lobbies, and all public spaces within courthouse buildings will have location markers to ensure social distancing. All visitors are required to keep a minimum distance of six feet from other visitors (other than members of the same household).
  • Elevators will have a reduced occupancy limit to ensure social distancing. Visitors must comply with all posted social distancing and maximum occupancy requirements.

Entering courtrooms

  • Courtroom seating will be marked to ensure social distancing requirements.
  • Court proceedings will have a reduced maximum capacity to ensure social distancing.
  • Proceedings will be staggered at different times. Visitors waiting for a proceeding are required to remain in the hallway or attorney lounge while observing social distancing requirements (i.e., a minimum of six feet between all persons who are not members of the same household).
  • Face coverings are required in the hallways outside courtrooms. Once visitors are authorized by court staff to enter a courtroom, visitors must follow the assigned judge’s instructions regarding face coverings.