WACO, Texas — Health officials confirmed Wednesday that there are two variant cases of COVID-19 in McLennan County.
These cases are of the variant that was first detected in the United Kingdom, B.1.1.7, said Waco Family Medicine CEO Dr. Jackson Griggs.
Griggs unveiled this information to Waco Mayor Dillon Meet and other local officials and medical experts during a news conference on COVID-19 in the area, saying the Texas Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the variants last month.
According to the CDC, B.1.1.7 spreads easier and quicker than the two other variants detected in the United States, as well as the virus that caused the global pandemic. UK experts also believe B.1.1.7 has a higher risk of death, but more studies are needed to confirm this finding.
In all of Texas, there are 414 confirmed UK variant cases, the CDC reports.
Other COVID-19 updates in McLennan County as of Wednesday:
- A total of 25,885 COVID-19 cases reported and 447 deaths
- Thirty-nine new cases of COVID-19 reported, 26 of those hospitalized. Out of the 26, six people are on ventilators
- Three elder care facility outbreaks and 126 nursing home deaths
- Eleven active cases in schools -- six students and five staff