Adams says NYC school mask mandates remain after judge shoots down Hochul rule

statewide mask requirement.

During a morning radio appearance, Adams labeled the ruling “unfortunate” and stated the Big Apple plans to maintain masking rules in public schools.

“I believe it’s unfortunate that it was struck down, and I believe those jurisdictions that are using it as an opportunity to remove mandates are making a big mistake. We need to follow the science, not the fears that is actually coming with this virus,” he said on 1010 WINS.

“We’re going to continue our mandates in schools.”

The state education department told The Post Tuesday that masks are still required in schools because the Hochul administration is appealing the decision.

“The governor and State DOH have filed a Notice of Appeal and are seeking confirmation that the Court’s order is stayed,” State Education Department Spokesperson Emily DeSantis said in a statement. “While these legal steps occur, it is NYSED’s position that schools should continue to follow the mask rule.”

Mayor Eric Adams
Mayor Eric Adams has said that NYC schools won’t return to remote learning and that he sees a mask mandate as an effective tool to keep schools open.
DANIEL WILLIAM MCKNIGHT

And the city Department of Education said Tuesday that the decision doesn’t apply to the five boroughs because the municipal mandate predated Hochul’s state one.

Adams, who has repeatedly declared New York City schools won’t return to remote learning, explained he considers mandating masks as a way to keep school open.

“We believe that it’s allowing us to keep our schools open, as part of our overall safety plan,” he said. “Many people wanted schools to close, I was very clear that I was not going to close. Our children need to be in schools. It’s the safest place for children and we’re going to continue to have the mandate in place.” 

In a decision that prompted the removal of mask requirements in schools across the state, Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Thomas Rademaker on Monday threw out a Nov. 24 rule issued by state Health Commissioner Mary Bassett that prompted Hochul to order setting without mandatory vaccination policies to require that all workers, customers and guests wear masks to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Thomas Rademaker threw out the mask mandate and declared it was “enacted unlawfully by an Executive branch state agency.”
AP

In the ruling, Rademaker said the mandate amounted to “a law that was promulgated and enacted unlawfully by an Executive branch state agency, and therefore void and unenforceable as a matter of law.” The case was brought by Michael Demetriou and 13 other parents who objected to a provision in Bassett’s rule that allowed her to order masking in “certain settings,” including schools.

In response, ABC 7 reported Tuesday that 20 Long Island districts will allow students and staff to attend classes without masks including, Plainedge, Massapequa, North Merrick, Smithtown, Levittown, East Meadow, Sachem, West Islip, Farmingdale, Franklin Square, Rockville Centre, Sewanhaka, Bellmore-Merrick Central High School Districts, Copiague, Carle Place, Harborfields, Commack, Connetquot, Lindenhurst, South Huntington, and Cold Spring Harbor.

Masks are still mandatory in Jericho, Baldwin, Syosset, and Catholic schools.

In Weschester, masks are now “optional” in the Harrison school district, according to an email from superintendent Louis Wool obtained by The Post. 

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Twenty Long Island school districts will end their mask mandates following the ruling.
AP

Even prior to the judge’s decision, Democratic leaders of the two Long Island counties in mid-December joined with dozens of Republican officials in the Empire State to refuse to enforce Hochul’s mask mandate.

On Tuesday, Adams insisted that the masking requirement isn’t a burden, pitching it as a way to keep students and teachers healthy without adding restrictions.

“Right now, we have mandates in various locations. We do it with our school children. None of those mandates are created to give people madness; they’re created to give people safety,” he said on NY1. “This is crucial. We can’t close our city down again. We must take all the steps possible to empower New Yorkers to be safe.”

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