BELFAST, Maine — Staffing shortages have forced the Waldo County court system to shut down one-half day per month beginning this week.

Except for April, the District Court will be closed the fourth Wednesday of each month from 8 a.m. to noon. In April, the court will be closed for a half-day on Wednesday, April 29.

Clerk of Courts Terri Curtis said Tuesday that her department has five full-time employees and one half-time employee to staff the District and Superior Courts. She said one of those full-time employees has been on extended medical leave since December and that it was unknown when that person would return to work.

The loss of that staff person reduced the department’s capability by 18 percent and forced the temporary reduction of court hours, she said. Curtis said that other than those specific Wednesday morning closings, the courts will continue to operate at their regular 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. schedule.