An Illinois appellate court on Thursday dismissed an effort by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker to keep an emergency school mask mandate in effect for the entire state.
The court, however, said the ruling does not apply to local mandates.
The Chicago Public Schools district — which was engaged in a bitter dispute with its teachers’ union earlier this year over Covid-19 safety protocols — swiftly said it would continue to require masks.
Earlier this month, the Circuit Court of Sangamon County issued a temporary restraining order against emergency rules issued by the state’s public health department and board of education, which, among other things, required masking in schools.
The state health department attempted to renew the emergency rules this week, but was overruled by a state legislative oversight committee.
In its opinion Thursday, Illinois’ 4th district appellate court pointed to the expiration of the emergency rules and declared Pritzker’s appeal to be moot.
The court also found that the restraining order “in no way restrains school districts from acting independently from the executive orders or the (Illinois Department of Public Health) in creating provisions addressing COVID-19.”
Jordan Abudayyeh, a spokesperson for Pritzker, said the governor was “disappointed” in the ruling and that he would appeal to the state Supreme Court.
“In the meantime, the Governor urges everyone to continue following the doctors’ advice to wear masks so students can remain safely learning in classrooms” …