Two McHenry County mothers have filed a lawsuit against Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker asking a judge to block Pritzker’s school mask mandate.
The lawsuit was filed in McHenry County Circuit Court on August 9 by Laura Murray and Christine Polheber.
One of Murray’s children attends Conley Elementary School in Algonquin and a second attends Heineman Middle School in Algonquin, court documents said.
Polheber has one child that attends Zion Lutheran School in McHenry, which is a private school.
The suit was filed on behalf of Polheber and Murray by Schaumburg-based law firm Lavelle Law.
The plaintiffs argue in the lawsuit that Pritzker’s latest disaster proclamations are void because “there is no public health emergency and no disaster.”
The suit asks a judge for a declaratory judgement finding that Pritzker’s executive order requiring masks in all PreK-12 schools exceeded his authority.
The plaintiffs also said that Pritzker’s mask requirements in schools violate their fundamental right to privacy and their rights under the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Illinois constitution.
On Thursday, McHenry County Judge Michael Chmiel granted a motion by Pritzker’s attorneys to move the case to Sangamon County.
A few dozen demonstrators gathered in Crystal Lake on Saturday to protest Pritzker’s school mask mandate.
McHenry County, along with nearly every other county in Illinois, has been marked as having “high” transmission of COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In late July, the CDC recommended that all people, regardless of vaccination status, should wear masks indoors in counties that have “substantial” or “high” transmission of COVID-19.
Areas of “substantial” transmission are considered by CDC to be those with 50 to 99 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.
Areas of “high” transmission are considered to be those with more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.
The CDC also recommended universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors at K-12 schools across the United States regardless of vaccination status.
Illinois adopted the CDC’s recommendation and then on August 4 Gov. Pritzker mandated masks in all PreK-12 schools in the state.
Pritzker said the mandate was due to “a number of school districts not yet adopting CDC guidance” and due to the state’s increase in COVID-19 cases.