Given the recent headlines regarding the New York Department of Health’s mask mandate, I want to clear up any confusion you may have and provide the latest updates on the matter. On Monday, January 24th, Justice Thomas Rademaker of the Nassau County Supreme Court judge issued an order striking down the mask mandate, ruling that the mandate was unconstitutional and in violation of the State Administrative Procedure Act. However, New York Attorney General Letitia James appealed to the Second Department and requested a stay of the decision.
The following day, on January 25th, Justice Robert Miller of the Second Department issued a temporary stay of the Supreme Court decision. He also ordered further briefing by Friday, January 28th. As a result of this, Tuesday’s decision unequivocally reinstates the mask mandate statewide, not only in schools but also in all contexts to which the regulation previously applied. This stay will remain in effect at least until the court hears further argument later this week.
Although the future of the mask mandate remains uncertain at this time, I strongly encourage everyone to continue to wear a mask indoors and around others. Getting boosted, vaccinated, and wearing masks remain your strongest protections against COVID-19 at this time, and it is imperative that we continue to practice these habits to limit the spread of COVID-19. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the mask mandate, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office.
I also want to remind you all to stay safe this weekend, as a powerful winter storm is expected to impact the New York City region with heavy snow and strong winds Friday night into Saturday evening. Please limit travel and exercise caution during this time. For the latest updates about weather and travel conditions, sign up for Notify NYC alerts here or call 311. The NYC Emergency Management website also offers resources for winter storms that I highly recommend you review. Hope everyone stays safe and warm this weekend!
State Senator Alessandra Biaggi