ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The newest Covid variant has made its way around the Key City. The Taylor County Public Health District has reported a rise in the number of positive cases since the beginning of August.

Director of the Public Health District, Annette Lerma, told KTAB/KRBC that the influx could be due to the start of school.

“It’s happened the past couple of years when school is back in session, and we know that because the most positives are in the zero to 19 age group,” said Lerma.

Typically, the key symptoms that indicate COVID are loss of taste and smell. However, healthcare professionals like Kaylie Kincaid said the symptoms most experience are similar to those of the flu and strep throat.

“They’re having body aches, sinus congestion, headache, fever, chills, GI symptoms like a lot of the nausea and upset stomach type situations,” explained Kincaid.

Kincaid is a registered nurse at the My Emergency 24/7 clinic and said they see an average of 10 to 15 patients on a regular day, but that number has increased to an average of 26 per day since the beginning of August, with many testing positive for the coronavirus.

As for a vaccine, the FDA removed the authorization for the current COVID vaccines and has authorized the new ones. The Public Health District expects to receive a shipment of vaccines within the next week or so.