MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A senior epidemiologist from the University of Minnesota believes the US is in a fourth wave of a COVID-19 surge.

Dr. Michael Osterholm appeared on FOX News on Sunday where he said the surge in current cases is due to the coronavirus variant first found in the UK – B.1.1.7. – what is spreading here now. It’s much more contagious and can be more serious.

READ MORE: Osterholm: Easing COVID restrictions when cases climb is like “getting rid of gravity”.

Dr. Michael Osterholm (Image credit: CBS)

Dr. Osterholm believes that in some ways we are almost in a new pandemic.

“We are currently the only country in the world in which more and more cases are occurring due to this variant and are opened and not closed at the same time. And the two will basically collide, ”said Osterholm.

He says the good news is that vaccines in the US protect against variant B117.

READ MORE: Doctor assesses risk for travel, sporting events amid ‘Spring Surge’