NIAID director Anthony Fauci said during congressional testimony Tuesday that he is concerned about the "disturbing surge" of new coronavirus cases in several states across the U.S., including Texas, Florida and Arizona.

Why it matters: Fauci warned that the "next few weeks will be critical" to contain the new outbreaks and that states "must have the manpower, the system, the testing to identify, isolate and contact trace."

What he's saying: Fauci said the new case numbers are a combination of states processing more coronavirus tests and an increase of community spread in metropolitan areas.

  • "That's something I'm really quite concerned about. And you know that. This is something that's been in the press over the past couple of days. We were going down from 30,000 [new cases per day] to 25,000 to 20,000, and then we sort of stayed kind of flat, but now we're going up. A couple of days ago there were 30,000 new infections. That's very troublesome to me."
  • "If you look at how we've been hit, we've been hit badly. I mean, anybody who looks at the numbers — we've had now over 120,000 deaths, and we've had two and a half million infections. So, it's a serious situation."
  • "In some respects, we've done very well. Right now, for example, the New York metropolitan area, which has been hit extraordinarily hard, has done well in bringing the cases down and using guidelines that we have very carefully together in a step-wise fashion to try and carefully reopen their city and their state."

The big picture: On Saturday, the country reported 33,000 new cases, the highest total since May 1.

  • In many states, including Arizona, Texas, North Carolina and Alabama, the new infections are outpacing the growth in testing, meaning the surges are not solely attributable to increased testing.

Go deeper: Fauci says Trump has never told coronavirus task force to slow down testing

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Updated 24 hours ago - Health

The states where face coverings are mandatory

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves issued a statewide mask mandate on Tuesday for those in public, as well as for teachers and students going back to school.

The big picture: 34 states, in addition to the District of Columbia, have issued some form of mask mandate as infections surge across the country.

Poll: 59% of Americans support nationwide 2-week stay-at-home order

People lay out on the grass while maintaining social distancing guidelines in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images

Over half of Americans surveyed in a new NPR/Ipsos poll support a mandatory, nationwide order to shelter at home for two weeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations are rising across the U.S., which saw dramatic surges in new infections this summer. More than 155,000 Americans have died, per Johns Hopkins.

Updated 12 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios VisualsThe

The death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 700,000 early Wednesday, Johns Hopkins data shows.

By the numbers: More than 18.5 million people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and over 11.1 million have recovered.