UPDATE: See the news release from Hays CISD about the UK variant; the individual is a middle school student.
ORIGINAL: The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) notified Hays County Local Health Department (HCLHD) that an individual in Hays County tested positive for the UK variant* of COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the UK variant of COVID-19 is more contagious and may be associated with an increased risk of death compared to other variant viruses, though health officials said more data is needed to substantiate that finding..
Hays County health officials said the person who tested positive with this new strain of the virus was asymptomatic.
Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra said, “Now is a good time to remind everyone to be extra vigilant and continue to do all the recommended safety protocols.”
Those measures include hand washing, wearing a face mask, staying home unless it’s necessary to go out and not gathering in groups of people outside your household members.
HCLHD Director Tammy Crumley said contact tracing for the new variant case is in progress. She reiterated the message about continued vigilance and taking all the steps necessary to slow the spread to help the community.
There is no additional information available at this time.
*About the UK Variant of COVID-19: The United Kingdom identified a variant called B.1.1.7 with a large number of mutations in the fall of 2020. This variant spreads more easily and quickly than other variants. In January 2021, experts in the UK reported that this variant may be associated with an increased risk of death compared to other variant viruses, but more studies are needed to confirm this finding. It has since been detected in many countries around the world. This variant was first detected in the US at the end of December 2020. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/transmission/variant.html)
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