CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — For the first time in several months, a Cranston dentist is once again allowed to see his patients.

Dr. Stephen Skoly was ordered to temporarily close his practice by the R.I. Department of Health because he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Skoly, who has a history of Bell’s palsy, was denied a medical exemption from the state’s vaccine mandate for health care workers. He claims that’s because Bell’s palsy is not listed as a side effect of the vaccine.

Following his denial, Skoly filed a lawsuit against Governor Dan McKee and the R.I. Department of Health, stating that both were “acting unconstitutionally and being irrational and arbitrary by denying his medical exception from the vaccine,” which prevented him from seeing patients.

Skoly was originally set to go before a federal judge Tuesday to request a temporary restraining order that would allow him to provide his patients with continuity of care.

But before that could happen, Skoly received a letter from the state last Friday notifying him that the compliance order had been lifted and he could reopen his practice.

“The compliance order issued to this licensee was related to an emergency regulation that expired on March 12,” R.I. Department of Health spokesperson Joseph Wendelken said. “We do not enforce regulations that are no longer in place.”

Skoly officially returned to work Monday morning. Since the order was lifted, Skoly said he’s received an outpouring of support from his patients.

“It’s very uplifting, it kind of got me through this,” he said. “Everybody needs a coach and I had a lot of coaches through this, so that’s good.”

Skoly’s legal team has withdrawn the restraining order request at this time, though they’re still discussing whether to drop the pending lawsuit.