ALBANY, NY – The masks are back.

A ruling this afternoon is allowing New York’s indoor mask mandate to continue while the issue is argued in court.

Last night, a New York State Supreme Court Judge on Long Island ruled that Governor Hochul’s statewide mask mandate is unconstitutional

Last month, Hochul initiated the mandate as the Omicron variant caused a surge in cases.

The mandate requires face coverings in schools and other public places, in hopes of mitigating the spread of this variant.

The judge had ruled that “While the intentions appear to be well aimed squarely at doing what they believe is right to protect the citizens of New York State, they must take their cases to the State Legislature.”

He also noted that Hochul’s emergency powers are no longer in place.

Hochul responded by saying that her responsibility is to protect the people of New York State throughout this pandemic, and is looking at ways to reverse this ruling.

A stay was issued while the state appeals to a higher court, putting the mandate back into effect.