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Appeals court judge grants motion to keep New York's mask mandate in place as appeal process continues

Virus Outbreak New York
Posted at 5:25 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 17:41:58-05

NEW YORK (WKBW) — A New York State Court of Appeals judge has granted a motion to keep New York's mask mandate in place as the appeal process continues, according to New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Monday, a ruling by a New York State Supreme Court judge based in Nassau County struck down the state's mandate.

Tuesday, the state appealed the ruling. An appeals court judge heard the appeal and issued a stay a short time later. This means the state's mask mandate remains in place as the appeals process continues.

The mask mandate for all public indoor spaces was put into place on December 13, 2021. It was originally set to expire January 15, but on December 31 it was extended until February 1.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued the following statement following the judge's decision Tuesday:

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. 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.
- Gov. Hochul

Attorney General James issued the following statement following the judge's decision Tuesday:

Nearly three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that wearing a mask saves lives. This mandate and today’s decision are critical in helping to stop the spread of this virus and protect individuals young and old. We will continue to do everything in our power to prioritize the health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers.
- AG James

New York State Education Commissioner Dr. Betty A. Rosa issued the following statement Tuesday:

We are pleased the Appellate Division granted the application by the Department of Health and the Governor’s office, confirming the lower court’s decision is stayed pending further proceedings. As such, the mask mandate remains in effect for schools across the state. We support Governor Hochul and the state Department of Health as they continue with the appeal. We thank the members of our school communities for their patience during this process.
- Commissioner Rosa

New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt issued the following statement Tuesday:

I am disappointed the Appellate Division issued a stay that will keep the unconstitutional mask mandate in place while the appeals process plays out in the courts.

We are two years into this pandemic, and it’s absurd that this administration is still ruling by mandates – which continue to cause confusion, frustration, and division among New Yorkers.

If the Governor truly thinks a mask mandate is in the best interests of New Yorkers, she should send a bill to be debated before the Legislature.

New Yorkers are fed up — it’s time to move beyond one-size fits all mandates and return to a system that provides checks and balances.
- Senator Ortt