coronavirus variant

Experts Advise Caution as States Lift Restrictions Despite Unknown Impact of COVID-19 Variants

The CDC has reported fewer than 700 cases of new mutant strains of COVID-19, but one expert says that number is "very much the tip of the iceberg"

NBC Universal, Inc.

States are rolling back COVID-19 restrictions as new cases trend down from record highs across the country. But experts warn it might be too much too soon as variants pose an increased risk and the pandemic — almost at the one year mark in the U.S. — is far from over, NBC News reports.

The moves to eliminate virus-related restrictions come as the most-recent seven-day average for new cases in the U.S. is 119,509 for the past week, according to an NBC News analysis. The last time that figure was that low was Nov. 9, near the beginning of the latest surge. The current new case numbers still far surpass the spring and summer highs.

“The variants are here and circulating,” said Dr. Jennifer Lighter, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at NYU Langone Health in New York.

While much remains unknown about how the variants will spread and affect the U.S., their presence is undeniable.

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