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Mask mandate back in place during appeal

Court to hear arguments Dec. 8

An order requiring masks inside Pennsylvania's K-12 schools and child care facilities will remain in place while the state Supreme Court considers the governor's appeal of a lawsuit that overturned the mandate.

The court ruled 5-1 Tuesday to put on hold a lower-court order that stated the mask mandate would not remain in place as litigation over it continues.

If the justices hadn't acted, the mask mandate would have ended Saturday.

Attorney Thomas King III is representing a group of Butler County plaintiffs challenging the mask mandate to the Commonwealth Court on the basis that state acting Health Secretary Alison Beam lacked the authority to implement the order.

Arguments begin Dec. 8, King said Tuesday, and he said the stay order is a sign that the case will be speedy.

“I think it's a good sign they will rather quickly decide the case,” King said. “It's good that they expedited it.”

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