States should be cautious about reopening or easing coronavirus restrictions right now due to the potential surge from new virus variants, experts recently told CNN.

What’s going on?

COVID-19 cases are dropping across the country right now, Axios reports. New cases slowed by 16% over the last week with 139,000 per day.

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But Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician, told CNN on Monday night that we shouldn’t let our guard down just because cases are dropping. She said the new COVID-19 variants often lead to a boom in cases, which would happen if states opened up and eased restrictions too soon.

  • “We’re ... seeing what happens in other countries when these variants take over,” she said. “There is (an) explosive surge, even when the countries are basically in shutdown.”
  • Wen told CNN the U.S. faces “something really potentially catastrophic, and we should be doubling down on the measures that we know to work.”
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North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announced he would not extend the state’s mask mandate, which expired in January, according to the Grand Forks Herald.

  • But, according to the Grand Forks Herald, Burgum still encouraged people to wear masks in public, saying “the science doesn’t change when the mandate goes away.”

COVID-19 variants: Should you worry?

The worry about COVID-19 variants continues to swirl as the United Kingdom variant has started to spread across the United States. According to CNBC, a new study found that the new U.K. variant is doubling every 10 days.

The U.K. COVID-19 variant is doubling in the U.S. every 10 days

The study — which uses modeling data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — said the new U.K. strain will soon become the dominant strain in the U.S., which I wrote about for the Deseret News.

Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN the country is in the “eye of the hurricane” because the variants are continuing to spread.

  • “I’ve been on Zoom calls for the last two weeks about how we’re going to manage this,” he said. “The big wall is about to hit us again and these are the new variants.”