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COVID-19 variants found in Laredo are tested

The City of Laredo Health Department has received the results of possible variants in the gateway city.
Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 11:26 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - The City of Laredo Health Department has received the results of possible variants in the gateway city.

Twenty-three samples were submitted to the Texas Department of State Health Services and now the city is hearing back on 19 of them.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over 200 cases of COVID variants that are of concern in the state of Texas.

The majority of the case are the United Kingdom variant, B117.

On Tuesday, Williamson County- a central Texas community- confirmed three cases of the U.K. variant.

On that same day, the City of Laredo Health Department received the results of 23 samples they sent to DSHS weeks ago.

“The Texas Department of State Health Services in Austin sends these samples for variant testing or sequencing to the Utah public health,” said Richard Chamberlain.

According to Laredo health director Richard Chamberlain, they were able to get the results back for 19 of the samples.

”From the 19 results, 6 of the samples did not have enough volume of samples to be ran correctly.”

Of the remaining 13, four different COVID variants were found.

However, in a press release from the City of Laredo they say according to the CDC, the detected COVID-19 variants in Laredo were found not to be of heighten concern.

None of the results included the variants that are of concern which are the ones from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil.

The variants that were found locally include B1130, B11222, B11244 and B12.

The city says the vaccines currently available and being administered in Laredo are still effective against the variants found.

They will continue monitoring and sending samples.

In a statement, Laredo health authority Doctor Trevino acknowledges the results and adds:

“If the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is allowed to mutate through unmitigated transmission, then the fear is that the current therapeutics or vaccines will not be as effective, as tested against the UK, Brazilian, South African, and most recently the California variants, which as of now have not been detected in our community.”

He adds that it’s important to continue following public health guidelines until more of the community is vaccinated.

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