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.

By the numbers: About two-thirds of respondents said they believe the U.S. is handling the pandemic worse than other countries, NPR found.

  • 62% support a single, national strategy for when businesses can reopen, while 60% support a similar strategy for schools.
  • 59% say workers should receive a stipend for them to stay at home for two weeks.
  • 55% support temporary travel bans between states.

What they're saying: Top infectious-diseases expert Anthony Fauci told CNN last week that he does not currently support a national stay-at-home order. President Trump has also ruled the measure out.

  • "I don't think we need to go all the way back to lockdown," Fauci said, stressing that wearing masks, avoiding crowds, hand hygiene and social distancing can be effective mitigation measures.

Methodology: The NPR/Ipsos poll interviewed 1,115 U.S. adults conducted July 30-31. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

Go deeper

Sep 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump contradicts CDC chief on when vaccine will be widely available

President Trump claimed at a press briefing on Wednesday that CDC director Robert Redfield was wrong when he testified to Congress that a coronavirus vaccine won't be available for widespread distribution until the second or third quarter of 2021.

Why it matters: Trump has already faced criticism for allegations that his administration has politicized the coronavirus response and is seeking rapid approval and distribution of a vaccine in order to boost his re-election campaign.

NYC mayor to furlough employees for a week, including himself

Bill de Blasio attends the 9/11 Memorial & Museum on Sept. 11. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that all employees in his office, including himself, will be subject to a one-week furlough sometime between October and March.

The big picture: The pandemic is on pace to hit cities' finances even harder than the Great Recession. Many face no choice but to cut services, layoff or furlough workers and freeze capital projects.

Coronavirus cases increase in 17 states

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

Coronavirus infections ticked up slightly over the past week, thanks to scattered outbreaks in every region of the country.

Where it stands: The U.S. has been making halting, uneven progress against the virus since August. Overall, we're moving in the right direction, but we're often taking two steps forward and one step back.