LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – All civil and criminal trials in Los Angeles County have been suspended in response to COVID-19 under a judge’s order issued Tuesday.

Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile issued the order under emergency powers granted to him by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye under Government Code Section 68115.

Brazile said that while no new trials will begin through April 16, the courts will reopen Friday for “emergency and essential matters”.

“This order will allow us to comply with social distancing and to prevent the spread of the virus within our community,” Brazile said.

He reminded the public that no jurors should report, and no additional prospective jurors will be summoned for jury service for 30 days.

Among the cases affected by the delay is the murder trial of New York real estate scion Robert Durst, where testimony was scheduled to resume Monday.