A midlevel New York court has upheld the state Health Department's 2013 requirement that medical personnel get vaccinations or wear masks during flu season when in areas with patients.
The Appellate Division rejected challenges by the Public Employees Federation and four nurses who claimed the department exceeded its authority or acted arbitrarily.
In upholding a lower court ruling, the four justices say the Legislature delegated broad authority to the department to preserve and improve public health, and attempting to minimize patient exposure to influenza "falls comfortably" within that.
They also say the record contains sufficient scientific evidence on how flu spreads and its risks in medical facilities.
The department in 2014 limited the mask requirement to areas where patients are "typically present."
Originally it applied where they "may be present."
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