AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) will deploy additional medical personnel and launch more COVID-19 antibody infusion centers across the state over the next week, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday, August 19.
“Front-line health care workers across our state are working tirelessly to keep Texans healthy and safe,” said Governor Abbott. “The substantial increase of infusion centers will reduce hospitalizations, and the added medical personnel will help treat COVID-19 patients already in hospitals. Hospitalizations can also be prevented by Texans getting the COVID-19 vaccine. To find a vaccine provider near you, (click here).”
About 2,700 medical personnel will be called up by the end of this week to help hospitals care for the increasing number of COVID-19 patients across Texas, the Governor’s Office said in a news release.
DSHS will increase that to at least 5,500 by the end of next week.
This operation follows the Governor’s directive on August 9 that DSHS utilize staffing agencies to provide out-of-state medical personnel to Texas health care facilities to mitigate the surge of COVID-19 cases in Texas.
The additional deployment of personnel will be funded by the state through September 30.
DSHS will open its newest COVID-19 antibody infusion center in Fort Worth on Friday, August 20 as well as one in Laredo.
These infusion centers are in addition to several others that launched across the state last week including Austin, Corpus Christi, Conroe, Harlingen, and Lubbock.
More are set to open next week.
The infusion centers, equipped with Regeneron’s monoclonal antibodies, will treat COVID-19 patients at no cost with therapeutic drugs that can prevent their condition from worsening and requiring hospital care.
These centers also help increase bed capacity in hospitals so that resources are available for the most ill patients.
The State deployed similar measures in early 2021 to communities across Texas.
Patients must have a referral from a doctor.
Currently, there are more than 140 providers that are providing antibody treatments at hospitals and clinics across the state.
On Tuesday, Gov. Abbott announced he tested positive for COVID-19.
He is fully vaccinated and was experiencing no symptoms, he said Tuesday.
The Governor’s Office released the following statement on Thursday:
“Governor Abbott’s doctor prescribed Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody therapy treatment, which is available at no cost to all Texans who get a doctor’s referral. It is recommended that Texans testing positive for COVID-19 seek this antibody therapeutic drug because of its effectiveness to help keep people out of hospitals. Today, the Governor announced the continued expansion of COVID-19 Antibody Infusion Centers across Texas. That is in addition to more than 140 providers that are providing antibody treatment at hospitals and clinics across the state.”