AUSTIN, Texas - Austin-Travis County has moved to Stage 3 of the COVID-19 risk-based guidelines due to rising cases, hospitalizations, and the confirmed Delta variant cases. Officials announced in a press conference earlier today that there are four confirmed Delta variant cases in the community.
Austin-Travis County had been in Stage 2 since May.
Travis County Judge Andy Brown, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes, and Interim Austin Public Health Director Adrienne Sturrup spoke at the briefing and answer questions from the media.
Health officials also used the press conference to urge parents to get children ages 12 and up to get vaccinated before the school year starts. Everyone age 12 and older is eligible for the vaccine in Texas, regardless of occupation or health status. Only the Pfizer vaccine is available to people ages 12 to 17.
Even people who had all their shots are advised not to lower their guard. The Delta variant is aggressive and there are reports that some people who have been vaccinated have gotten mild cases of the virus.
"We cannot pretend we're done with a virus that is not done with us," Mayor Steve Adler said.
As of July 13, the state has reported around 2.6 million confirmed cases in 254 counties and 448,326 probable cases in 229 counties since the pandemic began. Confirmed cases are detected by molecular tests, such as PCR tests, which are taken with a nasal swab and are highly accurate according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Probable cases are detected through rapid-result antigen tests, which are faster and less accurate.
These numbers come from the Texas Department of State Health Services, which typically updates statewide case counts by 4 p.m. each day.
In order to publish data quickly, the state has to bypass what is normally a months-long process of reviewing infectious disease data and performing quality checks before publishing. That’s why all of these numbers and information are provisional and subject to change.
The Texas Tribune contributed to this article
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