Medical experts worry that relaxing COVID-19 restrictions could cause case surge
The pandemic is at a crossroads -- while cases in the U.S. are going down, health experts worry states relaxing restrictions could cause problems.
Mississippi and Texas are among the states lifting all mask mandates and allowing businesses to operate at full capacity.
The decision has brought mixed reactions from residents and business owners alike.
"I'm not at the comfort level yet, I don't think our staff is either," says Eric Silverstein, an Austin, Texas restaurant owner.
The choices were made as a light may be at the end of the pandemic tunnel, thanks in part to three approved COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.
COVID-19 deaths, cases and hospitalizations have also fallen well below numbers seen over the past few months.
But doctors warn Americans aren't fully out of the woods yet. That's especially with more transmissible variants pop up that could spark a surge.
"We continue to see troubling signs of the trajectory of the pandemic in the U.S," says Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC. "Now is not the time to release all restrictions."
President Joe Biden chimed in, saying, "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, 'everything's fine, take off your mask, forget it.' It still matters."