3 cases of UK COVID-19 variant reported in Williamson County

Three cases of the U.K. COVIID-19 variant reported in Williamson County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Three cases of the U.K. COVIID-19 variant reported in Williamson County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Three cases of the U.K. COVIID-19 variant reported in Williamson County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The first three cases of the United Kingdom variant of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Williamson County, according to a Williamson County and Cities Health District news release. The variant was discovered and confirmed through lab testing by the Texas Department of State Health Services in March, it said.

The residents have no history of travel and were infected with COVID-19 in early February. COVID-19 variants have likely been in Central Texas for weeks after a Travis County resident with no history of travel was discovered to have a variant in the beginning of February, and Texas continues to see an increase in cases tied to the variant around the state, the release said.


“It is not surprising to see the variant in our community given how rapidly it spreads,” WCCHD lead epidemiologist Allison Stewart said in the release. “Even though we see a light at the end of this long tunnel with the safe and effective vaccines that have been authorized, we must continue to remain vigilant with our infection prevention practices that we know work: wearing masks any time you’re around people you don’t live with, social distancing, and personal and environmental hygiene.”

The variant was first identified in the U. K. in the fall and appears to spread much more easily from person to person than most strains of the coronavirus, the release said. The current scientific evidence suggests the variant may be associated with an increased risk of death but that current vaccines are expected to be effective against it. It is thought to be responsible for only a small proportion of the current COVID-19 cases in Texas and the United States, it said.

At this time, Williamson County remains in Red Phase, which includes the following recommendations to slow the spread of the coronavirus:

  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others and stop the spread of COVID-19;

  • Stay at least 6 feet from others who do not live with you; and

  • Avoid crowds. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19.

By Ali Linan
Ali Linan began covering Georgetown for Community Impact Newspaper in 2018. Her reporting focuses on education and Williamson County. Ali hails from El Paso and graduated from Syracuse University in 2017.


MOST RECENT

Javier Ambler's Law is heading to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk. (ALi Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)


lack man who died in Williamson County Sheriff’s Office custody in 2019. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Javier Ambler's Law moves to Gov. Abbott’s desk

If signed, the law would ban state and local law enforcement from contracting with reality television shows.

Goodfolks plans to open in late July to early August. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
New restaurant coming to Georgetown; new Hutto community to have nearly 1K lots and more top Central Texas news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from Central Texas.

COVID-19 precautions such as a masking requirement remain in place at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. (Courtesy Austin-Bergstrom International Airport)
'Signs of hope' on the horizon at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport after year-plus dip in air travel

Rising passenger counts, new airline operations and an increase in vaccinations could all support the airport's recovery in 2021.

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County adds 129 new COVID-19 cases between May 10-12

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County.

masks
CDC ends all mask requirements for fully vaccinated people

The guidance states fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

Georgetown Fitness provides a training environment to help improve health, strength and physique. (Courtesy Georgetown Fitness)
Georgetown Fitness is under new ownership

Georgetown Fitness provides a training environment to help individuals achieve their goals

The gallery features art from Judith Estrada Garcia and other local artists. (Fernanda Figueroa/Community Impact Newspaper)
Estrada Garcia Gallery relocates in Georgetown

The gallery can still be found near the Georgetown Square.

BoosterHub will launch its business July 1. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Software company BoosterHub set to launch July 1

BoosterHub's software is designed to help high school athletics and arts booster clubs.

House Bill 1024, signed into law May 12, allows restaurants and bars to permanently sell alcoholic beverages to-go. (Courtesy Pexels)
Cocktails to-go are here to stay in Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott signs change into law May 12

Supporters say the change will help restaurants continue to recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.