Sierra Martin | Managing Editor
AUSTIN — The delta variant of COVID-19, which is more infectious than previous strands of the coronavirus, has been found in at least four new cases in Travis County as of July 15. The local health authority’s urged the public to get the coronavirus vaccine, saying that “diseases can’t mutate if they can’t replicate.”
Austin Public Health announced Thursday, July 15, that the county is moving back to Stage 3 of the COVID-19 risk-based guidelines due to an increase in cases of COVID-19 and the arrival of the delta variant in Travis County.
Dr. Desmar Walkes, an Austin health authority, urges the community to encourage family and friends to receive the vaccine and noted an increase in COVID-related hospitalizations that is causing strain on the understaffed hospitals around the county.
“This delta variant that we have now in our midst, as we have heard, is much more infectious and spreads more rapidly in our community, but vaccines are effective at protecting us from becoming severely ill and needing hospitalization and protects people from dying.”
Walkes also asks parents to have their children vaccinated, if eligible, before school begins so students can return to in-person learning.
City of Austin Mayor, Steve Adler, spoke at a press conference informing the county of returning to stage 3 restrictions, saying that he “hates” to tell the public to increase safety precautions.
“Almost everyone in our hospitals right now, in our ICUs right now, are people that have not been vaccinated,” said Adler.
According to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, hospitalizations and the number of new daily cases have increased across the state. Still, COVID-related deaths have maintained around the same average.
The chart below is provided by the city of Austin and displays the recommended safety measures for each stage and vaccination status.
“We cannot pretend that we are done with a virus that is not done with us,” said Adler.
This is an ongoing story, San Marcos Corridor News will continue to update the community on the COVID-19 pandemic in Hays County and the surrounding areas.