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Major outbreak of COVID-19 Delta variant 'unlikely' in Travis County, APH says

While the Delta variant could fuel outbreaks, especially in communities where vaccination rates are low, APH said the chances of a major outbreak are unlikely.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Public Health announced Thursday that they are monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Central Texas.

While the variant has now been detected in all 50 states, including Texas, APH said there have been no confirmed cases of the Delta variant within Travis County. While the Delta variant could fuel outbreaks, especially in communities where vaccination rates are low, APH says the chances of a major outbreak are unlikely. 

However, health professionals say the spread is very likely in our community with confirmed variants in surrounding counties.

According to Austin health officials, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are effective against the Delta variant, meaning that is "unlikely" that this variant will cause severe risks for fully vaccinated people.

“Vaccines that are being used in the U.S. protect from the Delta variant," said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority. “We support everyone’s decision to wear a mask if they choose as an added layer of protection and will continue to monitor new variants while considering additional recommendations. Ultimately, getting vaccinated and following the three Ws – wearing masks, watching your distance and washing your hands – is the best way to prevent a surge of new cases.”

APH also said that there are early indications that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will provide protection as it has with other variants.

“Our staff and health professionals across Austin and Travis County have been working tirelessly for 17 months to keep people safe,” said Adrienne Sturrup, interim Austin Public Health director. “Over 69% of our county has received at least one dose of the vaccine. We urge you to protect yourselves, your loved ones, and our community against this new variant by getting vaccinated.”

APH is urging all members of the community to complete their vaccination as the new variants could cause the pandemic to drag on and poses a risk to people who are not yet vaccinated.

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