U.S. District Judge Gary Sharpe’s decision in Albany follows two other similar rulings earlier this month that also refused to block Governor Andrew Cuomo’s boundaries on areas of the state considered COVID hotspots -19.
Rules limit indoor prayer services to 10 people in areas where the virus is spreading fastest. In other areas within hot spots, indoor religious services are capped at 25 people.
Plaintiffs calling for the rules to be blocked include two Catholic priests who are not currently in virus-susceptible areas, as well as several Catholic and Jewish residents of parts of New York who had been designated as such.
In his decision denying a temporary restraining order against the rules, Sharpe said: “The court is convinced the initiative was driven by science and data.