Nassau County executive ends enforcement of state mask mandates

Long Island
Nassau County mask mandates

L: A sign reminds customers that masks are required in their store in New York on Dec. 13, 2021 (AP photo/Seth Wenig); R: Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman (Mike Pont/Getty Images)

NASSAU COUNTY, L.I. — County Executive Bruce Blakeman, in defiance of state orders, signed a trio of executive orders Thursday authorizing police to end enforcement of mask mandates.

The orders also gives schools the option to have mask mandates, though Gov. Kathy Hochul said in August that all students and staff would need to wear masks in schools.

“We should protect the freedom and statutory rights of students and parents by resting with the parents the decision whether their children should wear masks in school,” Blakeman wrote in an order.

He also signed an order allowing public county workers to ditch their masks, saying forcing them to wear face coverings could “inhibit breathing.”

In December, Gov. Hochul said businesses would need to require mask wearing or implement a vaccine mandate

It’s unclear if the state will challenge Blakeman’s orders.

“State law prevails,” Hochul said when asked about it on Thursday.

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