Royal Oak Tribune

School where masks aren’t mandatory loses legal challenge


HUDSONVILL­E» A judge on Tuesday ruled in favor of local health officials in western Michigan in a dispute with a school over masks and a coronaviru­s infection.

Libertas Christian School in Hudsonvill­e sued to stop the Ottawa County health department from closing the school. But U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney declined to upset the agency’s orders.

The health department said Libertas refused to make masks mandatory and had failed to supply informatio­n about a virus case involving a teacher.

“The county establishe­d a compelling interest for the names and contact informatio­n requested in the cease-and-desist orders. ... The county has establishe­d that such measures are a necessary tool to slow the spread of the virus,” Maloney said.

The judge, however, declined to rule on the school’s challenge to the mask order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administra­tion. Maloney said state courts can consider it.

The health department said Libertas can reopen Friday for in-person learning if students wear masks.

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