Pa. AG files emergency petition to keep mask mandate in place for schools

The court agreed to keep the order in place until December 4.
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office has filed an emergency application asking the state Supreme Court to keep the school mask mandate in place.

Earlier this month, a Pennsylvania judge said an order that requires masks inside K-12 schools and child care facilities to contain the coronavirus must expire Dec. 4,

In a 4-1 ruling, the Commonwealth Court sided with a legal challenge to the masking order that took effect in early September amid rising coronavirus cases and concerns about the surge of the delta variant.

The judges agreed with the challengers that state law did not explicitly allow Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam to order a mask mandate to contain a disease, and the state never created a regulation under the state's disease control law to allow it.

The Attorney General's Office argues that lifting the order next week will result in the hospitalization of more children.

"It will also increase the number of children infected with this highly contagious disease right before the winter holidays when families traditionally come together," said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

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