Coronavirus variant discovered in Nueces County: Here’s What Know

A Nueces County resident is confirmed to have been infected with the COVID-19 B.1.1.7 variant, the second known case in the state of Texas.

Local officials confirmed the diagnosis Sunday afternoon, saying the patient was an adult male in his 60s with a recent travel history to the United Kingdom. He is said to be in stable condition and isolated and will remain there until cleared by public health officials.

The DSHS says that the COVID-19 B.1.1.7 variant was first identified in the United Kingdom late last year and seems to spread very easily from person to person—even more than most strains of the coronavirus.

Dr. Srikath Ramachandruni says that scientific evidence suggests that the variant does not cause more severe disease and that current vaccines are expected to be effective against it. 

Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales remained consistent that she and her office were committed to communicating with the public and doing their part in keeping the public safe. However, State level lawmakers had confirmed that they had not been briefed on the situation prior to the press conference and there were no state officials present. 

“We are going to get more and more resources,” Canales said. “But we have to remember to be safe.” 

This is the second known case of the coronavirus variant to be found within the state of Texas. The first was a male patient in Harris County who is in his 30s. His condition was last reported to be stable. 

The news came on a day when the State of Texas reported 17,335 new cases of coronavirus and hospitalizations statewide rose to 13,921. The number of available ICU beds statewide dropped to 581. 

Nueces County reported 5 additional deaths on Sunday.