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South University nursing student Kimberly Pham prepares to administer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to central Texans lined up at a drive-through clinic. (Bob Daemmrich)

Even with the highly contagious Delta variant likely in town, Austin Public Health isn't expecting the same surge of cases this holiday weekend as was seen last Fourth of July.


APH reported Thursday evening that it is "unlikely" the county will see an outbreak of the Delta variant, a variation of COVID-19 that emerged from India and is more deadly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the variant can cause more severe symptoms for those unvaccinated or even partially vaccinated.

Just last year, COVID-19 cases surged after Fourth of July weekend as people gathered for events before a vaccine was available.

(Laura Figi/Austonia)

There have been no confirmed cases of the variant in Travis County due to a delay in testing, but it is estimated that 10% of the country's COVID cases are of the Delta variant. In nearby Williamson County, three cases of the Delta variant have been confirmed as of last week.

Public health officials continue to push for the community to protect themselves from the variant by getting vaccinated.

As of Friday, the county falls just barely short of its goal of 70% of residents 12 and older vaccinated with at least one dose by Fourth of July. It estimates 4,000 individuals need to be vaccinated over the weekend to reach the goal.

"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," Interim Austin Public Health Director Adrienne Sturrup said.

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