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Prosecutors’ office shuts down due to positive case

The Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office closed Thursday and will remain closed through Nov. 30 due to an employee’s positive COVID-19 test, top prosecutor C. Phillips “Phil” Ferguson confirmed Thursday afternoon.

“We had an employee that tested positive for COVID and had been around most of the other people,” Ferguson said. “We felt that was the best way to handle it and the surest way not to make it even worse.”

Employees have been asked to quarantine and get tested, Ferguson said.

Only four of the intervening days were to have been workdays, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Employees will be paid for the days they should have been working, as well as the paid holidays they already would have gotten.

“The whole situation has been difficult,” said Ferguson, who learned about the positive test of one of the people in his office on Wednesday and made the announcement that afternoon. “We just had to act.”

Ferguson said any hearings that required the presence of any of his staff will be postponed and reset — even though the court’s docket is already backed up from the shutdown in the spring.

“We’ll just be backed up some more, and there’s nothing we can do about it,” he said. “We really have no choice.”