THE Phillip Island murder trial, presently underway in the Melbourne Supreme Court, has been ‘paused’ for seven days after a member of the jury, the female foreperson, tested positive for COVID-19.

Justice Lesley Taylor informed the court on Tuesday morning, March 22 that the jury member had tested positive overnight, after noticing symptoms, but made the decision to give the jury a seven-day break in consultation with Crown Prosecutor Dr Nanette Rogers SC and Defence Counsel Ashley Halphen.

Justice Taylor thanked the legal representatives for the cooperation of the bar table before informing the jury of her decision.

“As you are no doubt aware, your foreman has returned a positive rapid antigen test this morning. Her test yesterday was negative, but she developed symptoms overnight and called [the court] today to say she was positive,” Justice Taylor said.

After considering carrying on with one less juror, Justice Taylor said the best course of action was to give the foreperson the required seven days isolation after which the trial could resume, next Tuesday, March 29.

“If luck is with us we can pick up and carry on in seven days,” said Justice Taylor, before giving the jury their leave.

The judge said the court room, jury room and jury box would all receive a deep clean but noted that facilities were cleaned regularly in any case.

The proceedings, during which a single charge of murder against Adrian Basham 44 of Paynesville, estranged husband of the alleged victim Samantha Fraser, is being tried, is set to run for six weeks.

The court heard earlier that the trial was still on target to be concluded within the original time after good progress was made hearing from local Phillip Island witnesses on Monday.