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...and afternoon text update

The new, more-contagious variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed on The University of Texas campus, states a letter by the university sent out to the community on Friday.

"Today, we are writing to let you know that the COVID-19 variant known as B.1.1.7 and first discovered in the United Kingdom has been detected through our proactive on-campus testing, monitoring and sequencing efforts," the letter reads.

The first case of the variant, which originated in the United Kingdom and is known as B.1.1.7, was confirmed by Austin Public Health in Travis County earlier this week.

UT confirmed that the individuals are aware they tested positive for the variant and are self-isolating. Public health workers have already completed contact tracing and advised them to get tested and quarantine.

"Mutations can also give a new variant an advantage, such as helping it spread more easily, allowing it to become the dominant strain in a community," according to the letter. "The university is continually monitoring for variants in its testing operations."

While the vaccines currently being distributed are expected to be effective against the variant, UT will open an additional clinic this weekend from 12 p.m.-4 p.m. to increase COVID-19 testing in the Jester West Fireplace Lounge. You can schedule an appointment here.


Following the purchase of a converted 34-foot-long van, Addicus' Legacy Dog Rescue's pups headed to their forever homes in style during its maiden voyage last week.

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  • 1 1/2 oz Tito's Handmade Vodka
  • 2 oz sparkling water
  • 1/2 oz coconut sugar simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 2-4 kiwi slices, peeled
  • 2 basil leaves
Directions: Muddle kiwi slices in a shaker tin. Add Tito's Handmade Vodka, syrup, lemon juice, basil and ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice in a glass. Top with sparkling water. Garnish with a basil leaf and kiwi slice.
(Austin Public Health/Twitter)

Eighty-seven providers in Travis County will receive a total of 75,540 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for the week of March 8 as part of the 13th weekly allocation, a nearly 62% increase compared to last week's. The significant increase is largely due to inclusion of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which received an emergency use authorization from the FDA last weekend.

The bulk will go to hub providers Austin Public Health and UT Health Austin, the clinical wing of Dell Medical School, as well as to Seton Medical Center, which will receive the largest share of this week's shipment. These three providers will either receive doses from Moderna or Pfizer.

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