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Commonwealth Court rules Acting Health Secretary failed to comply with state law by ordering mask mandate

The court voted 4-to-1 that Acting Health Secretary Beam failed to comply with state law when she ordered the mask mandate for schools and child care facilities.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court ruled Wednesday that Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam failed to comply with state law when she ordered masks to be worn in all Pennsylvania public and private schools, as well as child care facilities. 

Commonwealth Court ruling said that the mask mandate didn't comply with rules for setting regulations and was adopted without an existing disaster emergency declared by the governor. Commonwealth Court sided 4-1 with the ranking Republican in the state Senate and others who sued to challenge the masking order that took effect in early September.

The court came to its opinion by a four-to-one vote.

In September, Beam said, "This order is necessary and appropriate to protect children and students from the spread of COVID-19 and made under the authority granted in the Disease and Prevention Control Law, the Administrative Code of 1929, and the Pennsylvania Code."

Beam has said that she will appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which is majority Democrat.

Due to the appeal, the mask mandate will stay in place for the time being.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday announced he'll return authority over masking decisions to local school districts in January. His spokeswoman said a comment was being prepared.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has reported COVID-19 cases in children to be 9 times greater this year than in 2020.  

You can read the Commonwealth Court opinions here:

The Pa. Department of Health and Beam will appeal to the Pa. Supreme Court. You can read the appeal of the Commonwealth Court ruling here:

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