New York State (WRGB) — While the judge has granted New York’s motion to keep the mask mandate in place until the Appellate Court takes further action, schools and businesses are left wondering what to do?
CNN reported that more than a dozen New York school districts on Tuesday, January 25th had already announced that mask wearing was optional. A local attorney tells me that, for now, everyone should mask up.
When the judge struck down the mask mandate he said only the state legislature had the authority to enact one.
Attorney Ryan McCall of Tully Rinckey says thanks to the stay, the mandate will remain in place until the court takes further action.
We are proceeding as if yesterdays decision was never issued…The mask mandate is stayed and we still need to follow the guidance that was issued with an executive order through the Department of Health” says McCall.
I asked where do we end up ultimately? “So the next step is all eyes are going to be on the legislature. The ball is in their court–do we want to either give the government or DOH this power or enact some mandate of our own through our own powers?”
Lawmakers could decide to step in. Assemblyman Phil Steck of Colonie says the legislature may end up being the way to keep the mask mandate in place.
I think there’s ways that the mandate could be reissued not by the Governor, but by state DOH ..but if thats not the case we might see see the legislature take up the issue”, he said.
Steck says he thinks the mandate has enough support in the legislature for that to happen.
As for how long it might take the appellate court to reach a decision, McCall says that could be as much as months or years down the road.
Over the weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauci said again that the omicron spike could peak by mid-February, so it’s possible the stay could outlast this latest threat from COVID-19.