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Hidalgo County confirms four cases of COVID-19 UK variant

1 month 2 weeks 6 days ago Wednesday, March 17 2021 Mar 17, 2021 March 17, 2021 10:33 AM March 17, 2021 in News - Local
By: Marisol Villarreal, Dina Herrera-Garza

Editor’s note: This story has been updated throughout.

Four cases of the COVID-19 UK variant have been confirmed in Hidalgo County, according to Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Chief Administrator Officer Eduardo “Eddie” Olivarez.

Olivarez says out of hundreds of COVID-19 tests sent to a state health services lab in Austin from the Rio Grande Valley, some are tested for different variants.

The tests that came back with the UK variant were from residents who tested positive with COVID-19 last month.

READ ALSOUTRGV lab testing for UK variant of COVID-19, awaiting results from CDC

Olivarez added it’s unknown where the infected residents caught the variant, saying it could even be from the virus mutating on its own.

Olivarez said the COVID-19 vaccines, along with current protocols such mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing, are still effective in easing the spread of the virus.

Due to the confirmed cases of the UK variant, DSHS will soon work with a local hospital to check more COVID-19 tests to find out if other COVID-19 variants are in the area.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states on their website that the UK strain spreads more easily and quickly than other variants of the disease and may be associated with an increased risk of death compared to other variant viruses.

The variant was first detected in the U.S. last December.

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