Judge leaves New York indoor mask mandate in place, for now

The teddy bear statues in Saranac Lake’s Riverside Park wear face masks in May 2020 to remind people to prevent potentially spreading COVID-19. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

A New York appeals judge left the state’s indoor mask mandate in place Tuesday while Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration appeals a lower court’s decision to overturn it.

Judge Robert Miller granted the state’s request for a stay of a Long Island judge’s ruling Monday that the governor and health officials lacked authority to require masks.

Arguing before Miller Tuesday, Judith Vale, an attorney for the state, said judge Thomas Rademaker’s ruling would “radically disrupt the status quo” and endanger the health of students and staff at schools.

“The order, if not stayed will allow individuals to refuse to wear face coverings in indoor public settings where the risk of COVID-19 spread is high, including in schools where many children remain unvaccinated against COVID-19,” the state’s court filing said.

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Chad Laveglia, vowed to take the challenge “as far as it needs to go.”

“The judge got it wrong entirely. It’s so blatantly unconstitutional to grant a stay whatsoever,” he said.

This is a breaking news story. More information will be added as it becomes available.


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