LUBBOCK, Texas — On Wednesday, Mayor Dan Pope and County Judge Curtis Parrish took a tour of the new COVID-19 therapeutic infusion center in Lubbock, as the facility is set to open on Thursday.
“This is another piece to our recovery, it’s good for Lubbock, it’s good for the region,” Pope said.
On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced the Texas Division of Emergency Management has established a COVID-19 therapeutic center in Lubbock.
“Really this has moved very quickly, it’s taken from the time they said they were going to do it til today has taken about less than two weeks,” Pope said.
Dr. Craig Rhyne, Regional Chief Medical Officer for Covenant Health, said Covenant is leasing the former Grace Clinic to the state. Patients will either receive Bamlanivimab or Regeneron’s monoclonal antibodies.
“They’re both the same thing in terms of a monoclonal antibody that attacks the service antigens on the virus itself,” Dr. Rhyne said.
With ten stations, patients can expect to be onsite for about two and a half hours. Treatment takes about an hour, then there is an hour long observation period.
“Hopefully this will help decrease the number of patients going to the hospital, number of patients getting admitted to the hospital and number of beds being occupied in the ICU and ultimately saving lives because of what we can do over here,” Dr. Rashid Chotani, Medical Director for Ashbritt IEM Team, said.
In order to get the free treatment, patients must see a physician and meet the criteria.
“Typically the patients have to have had symptoms for less than ten days and have had a positive COVID-19 within 5 days of the initiation of treatment,” Dr. Rhyne said.
The TDEM infusion site will be Lubbock’s third. The site is located at the previous Grace Clinic located at 2412 50th St. Mayor Pope said the facility is more accessible to residents in East Lubbock, as well as people living in rural communities.
Dr. Chotani said about 30 patients can receive treatment a day, and hope patients will take advantage of the added supply.
“Getting it early, letting people recover at home and not going to the hospital,” Pope said.
To get an appointment at the infusion site, patients must be referred to by a doctor or hospital. If those resources are not available, call the Lubbock Health Department at 806-775-2933.