The U.K COVID-19 variant has been detected in Hays County 

By Sahar Chmais 

UPDATE: U.K variant of COVID-19 was detected at Dahlstrom Middle School. Because the variant is more contagious, the campus will implement 100% virtual instruction for 14 days.

HAYS COUNTY – The U.K variant of COVID-19 has been detected in a Hays County resident, according to the Department of State Health Services (DSHS). 

The county resident who tested positive for this variant was asymptomatic, reported Hays County health officials. 

This variant of the coronavirus is more contagious and may be associated with an increased risk of death, compared to other COVID-19 variants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC). More data is needed to prove this finding. 

“Now is a good time to remind everyone to be extra vigilant and continue to do all the recommended safety protocols,” said Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra. 

Contact tracing for the new variant is under way, said the director of the Hays County Local Health Department (HCLHD), Tammy Crumley. 

Crumley and Becerra stressed the importance of staying vigilant and safe through frequent hand washing, wearing a face mask, staying home unless necessary to go out and not gathering in groups of people outside of household members. 

Diagram on how to wear two face masks, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Wednesday, Feb. 10, the CDC released a study which states that wearing two masks proves more helpful in slowing the spread. The study recommends wearing tightly-fitted masks, with a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask.

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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