Health experts fear COVID-19 surge as states lift restrictions

Health officials are urging Texas residents to keep wearing masks and social distance even as restrictions are lifted. Janet Shamlian has more.

Video Transcript

NORAH O'DONNELL: And there is some more breaking news right now. The US is passing a major milestone, 100 million coronavirus shots administered. But there is also a warning of a possible new surge in COVID cases as more of those states lift restrictions. Texas is fully open for business tonight, and in many places, the masks are off. Here's CBS's Janet Shamlian.

JANET SHAMLIAN: It could be a wild weekend in Texas, the first Friday since the state dropped its mask mandate and occupancy limits. A packed dining room expected at Houston's Kin Dee restaurant, where they're fully open. Masks not required, but recommended.

LUKKAEW SRASRISUWAN: The regulations allow customers to choose their own choice, then we follow that part.

JANET SHAMLIAN: A different plan across town at Common Bond bistro, allowing only 25% capacity, with tables six feet apart.

GEORGE JOSEPH: We're in the fourth quarter. We think we're going to get to a point soon where we can take off the mask and our employees can be safe.

JANET SHAMLIAN: Houston has a problem tonight. It's the only known city nationwide with all concerning COVID variants.

JAMES MUSSER: There will probably be continued spread of the B117 variant here in Houston. We need to get everyone vaccinated as soon as possible. We need to keep our masks on. We need to socially distance, and so forth.

JANET SHAMLIAN: Austin is still enforcing its mask order, and the state is suing over it. Today, a judge set a hearing for later this month. At least 15 states, including Texas, no longer have restrictions on most or all of their businesses. That includes South Carolina, where crowds in downtown Charleston were partying like it was 2019.

ROBERT BALL: Very foolish and very unwise, against public health guidelines. And these are super spreader settings.

JANET SHAMLIAN: And tonight, March Madness has been tipped off balance after players tested COVID positive, forcing three of the top men's basketball teams to withdraw from their conference tournaments.

It's a brave new world here in Texas tonight, with the state's biggest spring break week about to start. Texas is officially 100% open. But in reality, it's a patchwork of rules as some bars, restaurants, and other businesses are still enforcing mask wearing. Norah?

NORAH O'DONNELL: Janet Shamlian, thank you so much.