The judge in Ghislaine Maxwell's sex trafficking trial in New York has asked jurors to meet for deliberations every day out of fears of Covid disruption.
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Citing the city's "astronomical spike" in Covid cases, Judge Alison Nathan said she needed them to meet "every day forward until they reach a verdict".
The jury resumed deliberations this week after breaking for Christmas.
Ms Maxwell, 60, has denied grooming underage girls for abuse by the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
If convicted, she could face decades in prison. She has also pleaded not guilty to two charges of perjury, for which she will be tried separately.
Prosecutors have called the former socialite a "sophisticated predator", while her lawyers alleged "sensationalism" around her case in their final statements to jurors.
The judge also asked jurors to stay until 18:00 (23:00 GMT) instead of 17:00 every day.
Addressing the threat posed by New York's rising Covid rate, the judge said: "We now face a higher and escalating risk that the jurors and trial participants may need to quarantine.
"We are simply in a different place regarding the pandemic than we were a week ago."
The jurors were not required to have been vaccinated when they were selected.
The jury had been expecting to have Thursday and Friday off.
Coronavirus cases in New York have soared from an average of about 3,400 a day in the week ending 12 December, to 22,000 in the week ending 26 December, the Associated Press reports.
But defence lawyer Laura Menninger told the judge that any suggestion the jury should stay later was "beginning to sound like urging them to hurry up".
She pointed out that the jury was continuing to request transcripts of trial testimony and other materials that indicated they were working diligently.