Sierra Martin | Managing Editor
HAYS COUNTY — As new variants continue to emerge, the latest variant, Delta (B.1.617.2), has now been detected in all 50 states, including Texas. Hays County COVID-19 active cases and hospitalizations have increased and reached numbers not seen since before mass vaccine distribution.
On August 2, 2021, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra shared a facebook-live video describing his concern for the increase in COVID-19 cases and the importance of decreasing COVID-related hospitalizations.
“March 13 2020, 16 months ago, is when I first had reported COVID in Hays County,” said Becerra. “And yes, it has been an enormous amount of time that we have been dealing with this. And we thought we were on the horizon getting out but it turns out no, we’re not. COVID has not done with us yet.”
According to Becerra, Hays County has seen 425 new COVID-19 cases over the past three days, meaning more than 140 new cases per day. Additionally, there were 28 new COVID-related hospitalizations over the weekend of July 30 to August 7.
“I will begin to wear masks when I’m out in public again because that is where we are,” said Becerra. “And this new variant is way more aggressive.”
The variant is of particular concern to public health officials because it is more transmissible and deadly than the original virus as it has mutated to become more effective at latching onto cells in the body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests it may have higher transmission than the original virus and cause more severe illness and hospitalization for those who are unvaccinated.
Hays County continues to offer opportunities for residents to receive their vaccine. Information on vaccine clinics and local COVID-19 numbers can be found on their website.