By Sahar Chmais
Hays County is seeing an uptick in active COVID-19 cases and an increase in hospitalization due to the virus.
Since June 14, active infection rates in Hays County have varied between 120 to 199 active cases, recorded every two days. After the July 10 weekend, that number spiked to 277 active cases. COVID-19-related deaths in the county have reached 264.
There are 15 county residents hospitalized with the virus as of July 12, a rise from eight hospitalizations as of July 8 and 9.
Nearly 40% of active cases are coming out of Kyle, with 109 active infections. San Marcos has 77 and Buda has 54 active cases. Wimberley has 14 active cases, Dripping Springs has 11, Austin has nine and Niederwald has three active infections.
Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) tests for the Delta variant; so far, Hays County has not received confirmation of this strain within the county.
To prevent further spread of the virus, Hays County recommends that residents take the vaccine, a method that has shown efficacy rates against COVID-19 and its variants. Children 12 and older can be vaccinated. The vaccine is free to anybody, with locations across the county. Private pharmacies, such as HEB and CVS are giving the vaccine along with clinics provided by the county.
Hays County also has a mobile vaccination program which goes to homes and businesses. For more about the vaccine, visit www.hayscountytx.com/covid-19-
Additional methods to slow the spread of the virus, as advised by the county, include avoiding large crowds of people, wearing a mask, hand washing and social distancing.