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The highly contagious Delta COVID variant has been traced in Williamson County. (Levan/Adobe)

Three cases of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant have been found in Williamson County in June, spurring more urgency from city officials for residents to get vaccinated.

The Williamson County and Cities Health District confirmed the variant cases through lab testing. The Delta variant first emerged in India and has since been found in 80 countries.

According to the district's press release, the variant is "demonstrated to be to be around 60% more transmissible than the already highly infectious Alpha variant" which was found in the United Kingdom late last year.

WCCHD Lead Epidemiologist Allison Stewart said mRNA vaccines are still highly effective against the Delta variant.

"It is not surprising to see the Delta variant in our community given how rapidly it spreads," Stewart said. "The concern locally is that we have more than half the county that isn't vaccinated and whom are still highly susceptible to this variant."

Because of its highly infectious nature, it is estimated that the Delta variant could become the dominant strain as early as August, the report reads, but it still accounts for just a small portion of cases in Texas and the United States.

The strain has not been detected in neighboring Travis County, but it is estimated that 10% of the country's COVID cases are of the Delta variant.

City officials hope that more vaccinations will help curb the effects of the variant. Just over 57% eligible residents are fully vaccinated in Williamson County, while 59.29% are fully vaccinated in Travis County.


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