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Lawsuit aims to kill mask mandate in New York schools

There’s a new push at the state level to end mask mandates in schools. A lawsuit has been filed challenging the state’s requirement that people wear masks while in school buildings to slow the spread of COVID-19.

State Sen. George Borrello, R-57, is among those part of the lawsuit. It’s been filed in State Supreme Court. “I’m not against children wearing masks in schools,” he told News10NBC. “I’m not really against a mandate however we have seen an erosion of the separation of powers under our previous governor especially.”

The lawsuit says the state Department of Health is moving outside its scope by issuing mask mandates. Governor Kathy Hochul made that promise at the start of her administration — requesting that DOH issue guidance to schools.

They did before districts reopened for the fall semester.

“This lawsuit is stating that the New York State Department of Health is outside its boundary in doing this universal mandate and that’s my primary concern,” Sen. Borrello added. “It’s procedural.”

Supporters of the lawsuit say that the Department of Health also made these decisions in absence of the things that allowed them to do so last year — like a state of emergency or emergency procedures.