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Our opinion: One more delay with mask ruling

It should surprise no one that a federal court has issued a temporary restraining order putting an end to the district’s procedure that made masks optional in county schools.

At issue is the district’s Sept. 13 decision to permit parents to sign a waiver in order to exempt their children from state mask requirements without supporting medical documentation. The lawsuit was filed Monday, with the court ruling masks will be decided while the case winds its way through the courts.

Similar decisions have been reached in cases involving school mask mandates in South Carolina and Tennessee, so there is no reason to expect that a federal court in Pennsylvania would act any differently.

Frankly, the courts were always going to be the final arbiter of these mandates because Republicans and Democrats in state governments can’t come together on common-sense health and safety protocols. Both nationally and in our state, the time has long since passed for those on both sides of the political aisle to come to some common ground on issues like masks and vaccines.

Athletic coaches always tell their players not to leave a game’s outcome in the hands of the referees. Democrats and Republicans, by dint of their inability to come off of their pre-programmed COVID-19 positions, have effectively placed our handling of COVID-19 in the hands of the referees. No one has handled this well — and that doesn’t bode well for any of us.

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