(JustPatriots.com)- New York’s statewide mask mandate was blocked then allowed to go back in place in the matter of a few days.
On Monday, a judge said that New York’s Department of Health didn’t have any authority to initially enact a mask mandate before getting approval from the state’s legislature.
Then, just a day later, an appellate court judge reinstated the mask mandate on a temporary basis. The office of Attorney General Letitia James filed a motion to get a stay on the initial ruling.
She won a temporary victory when the mask mandate went back into place. If she receives the full stay, then the mask mandate could remain enforceable while the full appeals process plays out.
After the stay was issued, James tweeted:
“A judge has granted our motion to keep New York’s mask mandate in place while our appeal process continues. Protecting the health of New Yorkers during the #COVID19 pandemic is our top priority.”
In arguing against the judge blocking the mask mandate, the filing from the attorney general read:
“If not stayed, will allow individuals to refuse to wear face coverings in indoor public settings where the risk of COVID-19 spread is high, including in schools where many children remain unvaccinated against COVID-19.
“The irreparable harms to public health that would result demonstrate that the balance of equities and public interest alone warrant a stay.”
Even though the statewide mask mandate was shot down, kids will not be allowed to go to schools in New York without wearing a mask. The Education Department in New York said following the ruling that all schools “must continue to follow the mask rule.”
In a statement sent to schools on Monday, the Education Department said:
“It is SED’s understanding that the Department of Health will appeal the Nassau County Supreme Court decision, which will result in an automatic stay that will unambiguously restore the mask rule until such time as an appellate court issues a further ruling.”
But, not all school districts appear willing to follow that order. There are 15 at least that have said already that wearing a mask to school will be optional rather than mandatory.
Back in December, Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul put in place a temporary order requiring all New Yorkers to wear a mask while they were inside a public space, unless a business implemented a requirement for vaccines. On December 10, Dr. Mary Bassett, the state’s health commissioner, supported that rule.
The mask mandate was supposed to end on January 15, but it was extended beyond that. People who were found to be in violation of the rule could face a fine not to exceed $1,000, as well as other potential criminal and civil penalties.
Thomas Rademaker, a judge with the Nassau County Supreme Court, ruled that since the state wasn’t under a state of emergency when the governor announced the new mask mandate, she didn’t have the authority to issue it in the first place.
Now, the case will go through the appeals court process to see who wins out.