Health

Two-thirds of Americans support mandates but only one-third live in places they are required

A majority of Americans want mask mandates, despite a minority currently living in areas with them, a new poll finds.

The survey, conducted by Axios/Ipsos, published on August 17, questioned U.S. adults about how they feel regarding mask requirements.

Nearly two-thirds, 64 percent, said they support their local government requiring face coverings in public places. 

Despite the popular support for the measures, only 33 percent of Americans report actually living in an area where masks are enforced.

Around two-thirds, 64%, of Americans responded to an Axios/Ipsos survey saying they either ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat’ support mask mandates

Many COVID-19 related restrictions were lifted in recent months when it began to look like the pandemic was going to end. 

In the time since, a surge of Indian ‘Delta’ variant cases have caused one of the largest spikes the nation has faced.

Cases have risen from less than 20,000 per day on July 1 – one of the lowest points during the pandemic – to more than 130,000 a day in mid-August, a 550 percent increase. 

Local leaders across the country have been reluctant to bring  bac pandemic mandates, and some have even taken measures to ban them entirely, despite what residents and localities may want. 

Just over 1,000 participants were surveyed in the Axios/Ipsos poll.

They were asked a variety of questions on the pandemic and policies put in place in response to the virus.

Despite masks not being required in many areas across the country, more than half of Americans report that they are wearing them in public anyways. Pictured: Two women in a store in Austin, Texas, wear masks indoors. Mask mandates are currently banned in the state of Texas

Despite masks not being required in many areas across the country, more than half of Americans report that they are wearing them in public anyways. Pictured: Two women in a store in Austin, Texas, wear masks indoors. Mask mandates are currently banned in the state of Texas

When asked about whether they support mask mandates in their local community, 64 percent of participants responded that they either ‘strongly support’ (39 percent) and ‘somewhat support’ (24 percent) the measures.

Just over one-third, 36 percent, voiced displeasure with mask mandates, with 14 percent answering they ‘somewhat oppose’ them, and 22 percent saying they ‘strongly oppose’. 

Democrats, at 88 percent were more than twice as likely to support the measures than Republicans, at 40 percent.

About 71 percent of Americans who live in urban areas support mask mandates compared to 46 percent of their rural counterparts.

Despite a majority of Americans in favor of the requirements, only 33 percent reported living in an area where the state or local government enforces masks.

Areas that do require masks are largely in western and urban parts of the nation.

As the Delta variant surges across the nation, masks have become a point of controversy once again. 

Cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia have reinstated mask mandates in all indoor public areas.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even revised its mask guidance at the end of July, advising masks to go back on indoors in areas of high or substantial transmission – which is almost the entire country at this point. 

Some states have gone the other way, though, and banned localities from instituting mask mandates.

States like Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas have all banned local mask mandates.

Utah and Oklahoma both have specific bans targeted at schools, though localities can set mask mandates in other public places. 

Arkansas previously had a similar ban, though Gov Asa Hutchinson recalled the legislature for a special session to repeal the ban after cases begin to rise in the state.

Despite the limited mandates on masks, a majority of Americans are still wearing them anyways.

The Axios/Ipsos poll finds that 63 percent of Americans still wear a mask at least sometimes in public areas.


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