Judge Issues TRO Prohibiting Enforcement of Face Masks (UPDATE; GOVERNOR APPEALS RULING)


Published on February 4 2022 9:42 pm
Last Updated on February 7 2022 8:12 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Gov Pritzker Mask 640

Sangamon County Judge Raylene Grischow Friday issued a temporary restraining order that prohibits enforcement of face masks, vaccination, and COVID testing mandates.

Judge Grischow is the person to whom all cases were referred from various jurisdictions when the questions concerning COVID were raised. That included the suits brought by State Senator and candidate for governor Darren Bailey against the governor's emergency orders over the past couple of years.

Parents filed suit against more than 140 school districts, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education last year, arguing there was no due process in Illinois' statewide mask order. That included some school districts in the Effingham area.

The ruling announced Friday afternoon states defendants are temporarily restrained from ordering school districts to require masks for students and teachers - unless a quarantine order is issued by a local health department.

School districts, the ISBE and Pritzker are also barred from requiring unvaccinated individuals who work in Illinois schools to provide weekly negative results of a COVID-19 test or be vaccinated to enter a school building.

Once again, Judge Grischow issued a temporary restraining order. A permanent injunction would be needed to bring some finality to the matter.

Meanwhile, Governor Pritzker has asked the Illinois Attorney General’s office for an immediate appeal of Judge Grischow’s decision.

The Attorney General is seeking an expedited appeal from the Fourth District Illinois Appellate Court.

“The grave consequence of this misguided decision is that schools in these districts no longer have sufficient tools to keep students and staff safe while COVID-19 continues to threaten our communities – and this may force schools to go remote. This shows yet again that the mask mandate and school exclusion protocols are essential tools to keep schools open and everyone safe. As we have from the beginning of the pandemic, the administration will keep working to ensure every Illinoisan has the tools needed to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.”