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Los Angeles County will pause all criminal trials for two weeks beginning Wednesday, as coronavirus infections continue to surge across the region due to the infectiousness of the Omicron variant.

Presiding Judge Eric Taylor said trials will be paused until Jan. 19, a delay that will allow court officials to “balance access to justice with local public safety needs.”

“I will continue to consult closely with L.A. County Department of Public Health … officials on local conditions and any changes to public health orders and guidance during this winter surge,” Taylor said in a statement. “For the second consecutive winter, holiday gatherings have fueled widespread community transmission.”

The news came a day after a panel of judges ordered the suspension of all federal trials in Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties. There was no timetable given for a return to normal operations in the federal court system.

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