NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York’s mask mandate was reinstated Tuesday afternoon after an appeals court judge granted a stay, temporarily blocking a ruling that struck down the mandate on Monday.
Gov. Kathy Hochul said in August that all students and staff would need to wear masks in schools. Then in December, she announced a mask requirement for all indoor businesses and venues unless they already require proof of vaccination to enter.
When Judge Thomas Rademaker ruled Hochul’s mandate unconstitutional, Hochul said she’d fight back. The State Attorney General’s Office filed a notice of appeal by Tuesday morning. Justice Robert Miller, after granting the stay, scheduled another hearing on the mask issue for Friday morning.
That’s just five days — or three school days — before the mask mandate is set to expire.
Still, some families, particularly in the 20 school districts on Long Island that had told families that masks were now optional, apparently intend to keep pushing back against the mandate. A variety of smartphone videos of Long Island children showing happiness over no longer having to wear masks have been circulating on social media.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman has long been an opponent of state mandates.
“It is time for the governor to stand down and stop disrespecting the rights of students and parents,” he said in a statement issued after the appellate judge let the mask mandate stand. “Mask decisions should be made by families and school boards who have their finger on the pulse of their communities. Not Albany politicians. Nassau is normal again, and our county will continue to lead the way as an example for the rest of the state to follow.”
For her part, Gov. Hochul said that the mandate is in the interest of the public at large, including school children.
“As Governor, my top priority is protecting the people of this state. These measures are critical tools to prevent the spread of COVID-19, make schools and businesses safe, and save lives,” Hochul said. “I commend the Attorney General for her defense of the health and safety of New Yorkers, and applaud the Appellate Division, Second Department for siding with common sense and granting an interim stay to keep the state’s important masking regulations in place. We will not stop fighting to protect New Yorkers, and we are confident we will continue to prevail.”