Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court on Tuesday said it would lift a stay on its order voiding the state’s school mask mandate, but not until Dec. 4 — when Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration could implement a new requirement, according to the court.

It wasn’t clear Tuesday evening what the court’s decision would mean for the future of the school mask requirement, which has been hotly debated in a number of communities.

“Nothing changes,” said Wolf spokesperson Beth Rementer. She said the administration will “seek to ensure that the masking mandate remains in place through the duration of the appeal process in our ongoing effort to protect the health and safety of students, teachers and staff.”

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in the case for Dec. 8.

The mask requirement was struck down last week by the Commonwealth Court, which sided with Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R., Centre) and other parents who argued acting Health Secretary Alison Beam had overstepped her authority in establishing it amid a surge in coronavirus cases in late August. Wolf’s administration appealed that decision to the Supreme Court — an action that automatically stayed the court’s order voiding the mask mandate.

However, Corman and the other plaintiffs challenged that stay, leading to Tuesday’s order. In an opinion accompanying the order, Judge Christine Fizzano Cannon said the court was lifting the stay because Corman was likely to win on appeal, and leaving the mandate in place would cause “irreparable harm,” because it hadn’t been implemented in line with state law.

She also said lifting it “will not substantially harm other interested parties or adversely affect the public interest.”

A new emergency regulation could be adopted Dec. 4, Cannon said, when the current mask order is now set to expire.

Wolf had previously said he planned to lift the school mask mandate on Jan. 17. But school districts could still decide to require masks. Many area districts adopted health and safety plans that included mask requirements before the state mandate took effect in September, and some aren’t poised to drop them: The Philadelphia School District, for instance, says it will require masking until the city and CDC advise otherwise.

In other districts, masking has been a continuing battle — and masking opponents may press school boards to immediately change their position, said Jeffrey Sultanik, a solicitor for a number of Philadelphia-area districts.

But schools may want to wait before moving to drop requirements, he said, given uncertainty around what action the Wolf administration might take next, and how the Supreme Court — which skews Democratic and may be more favorable to Wolf — handles the appeal.