A judge in downstate Sangamon County granted a temporary restraining order Friday effectively prohibiting mask requirements for students in numerous school districts across the state.
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.
Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Raylene Grischow heard oral arguments in the case earlier this month prior to granting the temporary restraining order.
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.
In anticipation of the ruling, several school districts announced they would encourage wearing masks indoors.
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.
Furthermore, under the terms of the order, school districts can’t refuse admittance to teachers and students deemed a “close contact” of a probable COVID-19 case without due process of law, court documents stated.
Questions remain about who exactly is included in the ruling.
Following the development Friday evening, Pritzker’s office told NBC 5 it was reading through the ruling to see it if applies to all students or just those in the lawsuit.