School Mask Powers Uphold For Now While State Supreme Court Justices Appeal – CBS Pittsburgh

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – An order requiring masks to be worn inside Pennsylvania’s K-12 schools and child care facilities will remain in place while the state’s Supreme Court considers the governor’s appeal against a overturning the authorization case, the high court ruled on Tuesday.

The judges in the 5-1 decision delayed a lower court order saying the mask-wearing mandate would not be upheld as litigation over it continued. If the judges do not act, the mask duty will end on Saturday.

READ MORE: Pennsylvania School Mask Mandate Judge Rules Must Expire December 4th

The high court said its decision was not final and could be reviewed again after it heard oral arguments in the case next week. One of the court’s two Republican members, Justice Sallie Mundy, dissented, while the other, Justice Thomas Saylor, did not participate.

4 ruling on November 10, the Commonwealth Court sided with Republican leaders in the top state Senate and others who sued over the acting Health Secretary’s order to wear masks. state, which went into effect in early September amid rising coronavirus cases and concerns about a rise in delta variation.

A majority of the Commonwealth Courts said acting Health Secretary Alison Beam did not have the authority to require a mask, that she failed to comply with state law regarding the review and approval of regulations and that the authorization was passed without an existing state of disaster emergency declared by the governor.

A majority in lower court said the state’s disease control law does not give health secretaries “comprehensive authority to create new rules and regulations, as long as they are related in some way”. related to disease control or can be described as disease control measures. ”

Republicans in the House of Representatives in October sought a Joint Committee statement on the dubious document that Beam’s order ought to be enacted as a regulation, but was denied, July 7. -4.

“I appreciate the court scheduling an oral argument in early December so that we can resolve this case as quickly as possible. We aim to make our case that parents should be empowered to do what’s best for their children,” said Pro Tempore Senate President Jake Corman, R-Center, who sued to challenge. duty masked duty, said.

READ MORE: Mistakenly Follows Pennsylvania Court Issues School Mask Mandate

Democratic Governor Tom Wolf earlier this month announced he intends to hand over the decision to wear masks to local school districts in January, but will continue to require masks in care centers. children and early learning programs.

Earlier on Tuesday, Wolf suggested he not consider additional containment measures when the omicron variant of the coronavirus spread abroad. Wolf said there is no reason to panic, noting that no cases of the omicron variant have been detected in the United States.

“In Pennsylvania and across the country, vaccines are still our strategy, so get vaccinated,” Wolf told KDKA-AM radio in Pittsburgh. “Vaccination. That is our strategy and it seems to be working.”

Infections, hospitalizations, and intensive care cases are on the rise in Pennsylvania and many other states. About 3,600 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, according to Department of Health figures.

Wolf called it “very little” and said he “doesn’t see the need for Pennsylvania to do anything draconian at this point,” such as limiting elective surgeries to free up hospital space. .

More than 33,000 people in Pennsylvania have died from COVID-19, according to Health Department data.

MORE NEWS: Court Overturns School Mask Authorization, Wolf Administration Appeal

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Aila Slisco

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