Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Four months after the first lockdowns, there's a real possibility of a nationwide consensus on face masks.

Why it matters: As is increasingly the case in our fractured society, states and businesses led the way, finally followed by the federal government.

  • 25 states plus D.C. have mask mandates in public spaces. Alabama is the latest to join those ranks. (Map)
  • Walmart is the latest major retailer to require masks in stores, joining Costco and Starbucks.
  • The federal government has been all over the place, with the CDC recommending against masks early in the pandemic and President Trump refusing to wear a mask in public until last weekend.

The big picture: 62% of respondents in the most recent Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index said they’re wearing a mask “all the time” outside the home, up from 53% two weeks ago.

  • Republicans jumped from 35% to 45%.

Between the lines: Enforcement will mostly fall on entry-level workers to meet the portion of Americans who still see face coverings as a political statement and not a public health preventative practice.

  • Videos across the country have surfaced showing customers berating retail staffers over masks and temperature checks.
  • Walmart will have "Health Ambassadors" stationed near the entrances of stores to remind customers without masks of the new requirements.

The bottom line: As the pandemic becomes more immediately real across the country, resisting one of the easiest interventions against it makes less and less sense.

Go deeper: CDC says U.S. could get coronavirus "under control" in 4–8 weeks if all wear masks

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 31,937,244 — Total deaths: 977,624 — Total recoveries: 22,013,874Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m ET: 6,937,145 — Total deaths: 201,959 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: The coronavirus is surging again — Johnson & Johnson begins large phase 3 trial — The FDA plans to toughen standards.
  4. Media: Pandemic spurs journalists to go it alone via email.
  5. Technology: The tech solutions of 2020 may be sapping our resolve to beat the coronavirus
  6. Sports: Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
20 hours ago - Health

America's halfway coronavirus response

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some of the same technological advances that have enabled us to partially weather the economic and health tolls of the pandemic may be paradoxically discouraging us from taking fuller measures.

Why it matters: Thanks to tech like video chat and automation, a large portion of the population has been able to mostly escape the effects of the pandemic — and even thrive in some cases. But far too many of us risk being left further behind as the virus spreads.

Updated 11 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 976,000 worldwide on Thursday morning.

By the numbers: Globally, more than 31.8 million million people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Johns Hopkins data shows.

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