NEW YORK — The New York State Attorney General’s office filed an appeal early Tuesday in an effort to keep a statewide mask mandate in place.
The appeal came after State Supreme Court Judge Tomas Rademaker on Monday ruled Gov. Kathy Hochul’s mandate to be unconstitutional. The governor immediately responded, saying her administration disagreed and was “pursuing every option to reverse this immediately.”
The state’s appeal means the ruling by the Nassau County judge is stayed, effectively bringing back the governor’s mask mandate until a new ruling is made.
For now, the State Education Department said school districts around the state have been instructed to ignore Rademaker’s ruling. Even so, some schools on Long Island said masks would be optional head of the school day Tuesday due to the judge’s initial ruling.
After saying in August that all students and staff would need to wear masks in New York schools, Hochul announced a mask requirement in December for all indoor businesses and venues, unless they already required proof of vaccination for entry.
The mandate was reinstituted by the governor over concerns about a winter surge of coronavirus cases. The state health department had said the mandate would be in place until Feb 1.
Rademaker said in his decision Monday that the state Department of Health didn’t have the legal authority to implement the mandate.