State Appellate Court’s Jan. 31 ruling says mask mandates will stay in place until state appeal is decided

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Attention Minisink Valley parents/guardians:

A Jan. 31 State Appellate Court ruling said mask mandates will stay in place until the state appeal is decided. New York State has until March 2 to file papers for its appeal. This means masks can remain in schools and other indoor public locations until at least March 2.

The three-judge panel gave the attorney general’s office the March 2 deadline to respond to arguments raised in the Nassau County court case, where the initial ruling was the mask mandate was unconstitutional and the State Health Department lacked the authority to impose them. If the state doesn’t respond on or before March 2, the court said that it may end its stay on the lower court ruling.

However, the NYSDOH’s administrative order for masks to be worn by all persons inside school buildings is currently set to expire Feb. 21.

As a reminder: Masks must continue to be worn in schools pending a decision by the Appellate Court.  The district is required to follow this mandate.   

The district will continue to provide updates as needed while we await further guidance and/or a court decision.  Thank you for your attention to this important information.

Gov. Hochul’s Jan. 31 statement
Attorney General James’ Jan. 31 statement

Additional information: 
Jan. 28: State Education Department statement on New York State Appellate Court mask wearing case status

Jan. 25: Appellate judge grants stay in state’s lawsuit; mask wearing remains in place pending outcome of Jan. 28 hearing

Jan. 25: Important reminder: Masks must be worn by persons in all buildings as appeal is filed

Jan. 24: New York State Education Department issues message on mask ruling update