Harrisburg, PA – Students will need to continue wearing masks in Pennsylvania schools until at least Dec. 8, as a previous change that was expected to take place on Dec. 4 is now being put on hold until an appeal is heard in court.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has reinstated Gov. Tom Wolf’s mandate requiring students, teachers and staff to wear face masks in school.

On Nov. 10, a lower court decision had originally ruled that the PA Department of Health had acted improperly and that the mask mandate would be lifted on Dec. 4.

However, now any changes to the mask mandate will wait until at least Gov. Wolf’s appeal is heard in court, which will be Wednesday, Dec. 8.

If the appeal is won by Gov. Wolf or if the court finds that there are additional ways that a mask mandate could properly be extended, then Pennsylvania schools will be mandated to continue requiring masks.

Gov. Wolf had announced in early November that he planned on lifting the mask mandate for K-12 schools on Jan. 17, saying that he was making the decision partially because of the rollout of vaccines for kids age 5-11.

With the development of the new omicron COVID-19 variant and the possibility of a stronger holiday surge in cases, there are concerns that the masking mandate could last long than Jan. 17, but Gov. Wolf has not made any statement or changes to the Jan. 17 plan yet.