Four cases of the coronavirus delta variant have been confirmed in Travis County, Austin Public Health representatives said in a July 14 news release.

Until now, the contagious variant had not been officially detected by a lab in Travis County, although neighbors, including Williamson County, had already confirmed cases. The delta variant was also recently confirmed by Centers for Disease Control & Prevention data to be the most prevalent strain of COVID-19 in the United States.

"We assume that we do have it here, and that's particularly evident in that our case numbers are starting to rise," said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority, in a July 13 briefing to county officials. "I'm stressing to everyone that can hear the sound of my voice, it's important to be vaccinated."

Travis County has a seven-day moving average of 81 new confirmed cases per day, and a seven-day moving average of 19.7 new hospitalizations per day at Austin-area hospitals. That puts the Austin-Travis County community in range of moving to Stage 3 pandemic risk-based guidelines, after around two months at Stage 2.

APH representatives will hold a press conference the morning of July 15 to announce more details about potential risk-based guideline changes and to offer more details about the confirmed delta variant cases. County Judge Andy Brown and Austin Mayor Steve Adler will be in attendance.