AUSTIN (KXAN) – On Friday, Austin Public Health announced a new omicron subvariant has been reported in the Travis County area.
In addition to the new variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed Travis County’s COVID-19 Community Level as medium risk for the first time in five months.
APH said it had not detected omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 in Travis County wastewater samples, but it has been reported in other parts of Texas and throughout the country.
“We need to avoid another surge,” said APH Director Adrienne Sturrup. “Our hospitals are treating patients with COVID-19, flu and various upper respiratory illnesses right now. If you have already resolved to prioritize your health with a healthier diet, or more physical activity in this new year, add getting vaccinated to your list. If you are already vaccinated, get your booster. Protect yourself and loved ones who are at high risk of severe illness.”
These are the key metrics used to determine Community Level in Travis County. The numbers below are as of Friday, Jan. 6:
- COVID-19 cases per 100K: 141
- COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100K: 10.3
5 things to know about the omicron XBB subvariant:
- XBB is a sublineage of omicron.
- XBB is rapidly replacing prior subvariants in the U.S.
- Bivalent boosters still provide a level of protection and reduce your chance of hospitalization.
- XBB is resistant to existing COVID-19 treatments such as monoclonal infusions, which is concerning for those who are immunocompromised.
- XBB symptoms are like those of other COVID-19 variants, including cough, congestion, exhaustion, fever, sore throat, nausea, diarrhea and headaches.