EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A recent case of COVID-19 identified in the area was determined to be the fast-spreading Delta variant, according to health officials.
The city of El Paso announced the discovery during a press conference on Friday afternoon.
Three Delta cases with individuals, one including a woman in her 20’s. They were all not vaccinated.
Mayor Oscar Leeser urged El Pasoans to wear masks and take care of their health.
Health officials say the Delta variant has proven to be more infectious than other versions of the COVID-19 virus. And, earlier this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance for mask waring for communities with “substantial” and “high” transmission.
Friday’s discovery comes as school districts in the area returned to in-person instruction and just before major districts also return.
In Texas, an executive order prohibiting mask mandates stays in place. Governor Greg Abbott affirmed his position on the order this week saying “Texans, not government, should decide their best health practices.”
Health officials advise that the region is still doing well administering vaccines and that infections rates are still low.
As for vaccines, local data show over 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, according to city of El Paso data. In a population of 688,420 individuals who are 12-years-old and over, nearly 70 percent have been fully vaccinated.
City data show 87 percent of individuals 65-years-old and above are fully vaccinated.
But data also show there have been 570 breakthrough cases. Breakthrough cases are when individuals who are fully-vaccinated who become infected with COVID-19.
Among those cases, eight fully-vaccinated individuals have died and there 11 in intensive care units. Six of them are also on ventilators.
As of Friday, the city said 971 active cases were identified in the community, with 72 people hospitalized and 23 in intensive care units.
City data show there are 134,201 recovered COVID-19 cases and 2,720 people have died after being infected.