Tracking COVID-19 variants in Texas: Here’s where you can find the breakdown


FILE — a woman is tested for COVID-19.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — This week, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services unveiled its new dashboard that projects which COVID-19 variants are most prevalent in our state and shows the progression of variants over time.

It shows almost all of the cases in Texas right now are delta variant cases, which the Center for Disease Control has previously said is the case nationwide. The strains of the virus that Texas was experiencing at the beginning of the pandemic have nearly disappeared, according to those numbers.

The data in the dashboard is pulled from the CDC’s SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance program. It doesn’t necessarily track every single case of COVID-19, but instead uses national data to estimate how prevalent variants are in Texas.

Can I get tested for the delta variant?

There is a way to tell which variant people have, but there’s not really a way for you to tell. Test results from a PCR or antigen test you might take at a testing site or in a take-home kit will only tell you if you’re positive or negative for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The process for getting additional information on variants is called sequence testing.

That process takes weeks and is not widely available right now which means states and federal groups like the CDC only sequence test a pool of people and then project that data onto the population. Think of it like a survey.

Still, local health experts have previously told KXAN that if you test positive for COVID-19 right now, you can assume you have the delta variant because of how prevalent it is.

You can get a COVID-19 test at pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens or you can find a list of testing sites on Austin Public Health’s website.

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