HARRISBURG (AP) – A lawyer for PA’s acting Health Secretary Alison Beam is defending the validity of the secretary’s order requiring masks inside K-12 schools to fight COVID-19. The attorney asked state Supreme Court justices during oral argument in Philadelphia on Wednesday to focus their decision on a single regulation he says gives her that authority. The directive remains in place while the court considers a legal challenge from the state Senate’s highest ranking leader and others. Beam’s mandate took effect in early September. A lower court has ruled Beam lacked authority to require masks, didn’t follow state laws about enacting regulations, and acted without a required existing disaster emergency.