UPDATE: Since this story was published, the Supreme Court has ruled in a 4-3 decision to strike down the statewide mask mandate. Read the latest story here.
Wisconsin's conservative-leaning Supreme Court is set to rule Wednesday on whether or not Gov. Tony Evers' statewide mask mandate is legal.
The governor has renewed the mask mandate numerous times since the pandemic hit the state over a year ago, arguing a statewide order is an essential part of keeping coronavirus cases down. Many conservatives have resisted the order, arguing an overreach of authority.
The state Supreme Court struck down Evers' 'Stay at Home' order last year, an indication that the high court may respond similarly to the mask mandate on Wednesday.
Such a decision would be a blow to Evers' ability to steer a statewide response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Local mask orders would not be affected by a decision from the court, however. Most of Wisconsin's larger cities have their own mask orders in place.
The Supreme Court's decision comes a day after state health officials decided to make all Wisconsin residents 16 years or older eligible for the COVID-19 vaccinestarting April 5.
Over 2.7 million vaccines have been administeredin Wisconsin, and just over 3 million have been allocated to the state by the federal government. The state continues to lead the nation in distributing the vaccine to its residents.
However, the state's seven-day average number of coronavirus cases has increased in the last few days. The state Department of Health Services reported an average of 501 Tuesday, up from a low of 350 last week.
During a press briefing this week, DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk did indicate Wisconsin is seeing signs of a surge in cases.
Also this week, the DHS announcedseven more pharmacy chains will receive the vaccine as part of the Federal Retails Pharmacy Program.