The lawsuit filed in Ramsey County on Friday is intended to force Governor Tim Walz to issue a statewide authorization for masks for K-12 schools.
The lawsuit was filed by a group of parents of children who did not wear masks at school, and was intended to allow the judge to force Waltz to declare a new state of emergency in order to issue the rule.
It is not clear whether such contact from one government department to another is legal for emergency declarations. It is unclear how Walz will respond. A Walz spokeswoman said on Friday afternoon that they have not seen the actual lawsuit and will comment after the review.
In any case, Walz can now declare a new emergency in peacetime, and these broad powers will give his government the right to require schools to wear masks.
Waltz refuses to declare a new state of emergency
However, after the legislature concluded its initial announcement at the end of June 16 months later, the governor, who is widely expected to seek re-election next year, has so far refused to declare a new COVID emergency. The decision is part of a deal between Waltz and the Republicans who control the state Senate to balance the state’s two-year budget and avoid a government shutdown.
This also happened at a time when coronavirus cases have bottomed out, vaccination is progressing smoothly, and many people believe that the pandemic has entered the final throes.
Then the delta variant appeared, mainly spreading through unvaccinated people, including school children, especially those under 12 years of age who were not eligible for any vaccinations.
Although it is not known whether the delta variant is actually more harmful to children than the previous variants, as delta infects children, the national pediatric intensive care unit has been overcrowded, and about 1% of the children are sent to the hospital, breaking previous beliefs COVID-19 poses a small risk to children.
The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health currently recommend that schools generally wear masks, but this is only a recommendation. St. Paul, Stillwater, Minneapolis, and many other metropolitan areas require students in some or all grades to wear masks, but many do not. In rural areas of the state, wearing masks appears to be an exception.
Litigation: State Constitution requires a safe environment
The main legal argument of the lawsuit is based on part of the Minnesota Constitution drafted in 1857, which requires the state to provide education for all students. The lawsuit argues that the Constitution and its legal interpretation require such education to include a safe environment.
The lawsuit claims that it is unsafe to allow people who have not been vaccinated or wear masks to sit in the classroom for a few hours.
“We believe that mandatory wearing of masks is essential to the safety, health and well-being of our children, school staff and those who visit the school website,” said Dr. Winona, one of the parents. In litigation.
It is not clear to what extent masks reduce the spread of delta in the real world, but health experts agree that-if the correct masks are worn correctly-they can have a significant impact, although not as many as vaccinated or not clustered at all indoors.
The nearest one Research conducted by a research group funded by the CDC Using computer model predictions, general masking alone can reduce student infections by 26% to 78%. The research has not been peer reviewed.