As the numbers of COVID-19 active cases go up across Deep East Texas, there has been an increasing need for infusion therapy centers.  These treatments are designed to prevent those with COVID-19 from developing worsening conditions and thereby keeping them out of the overcrowded hospitals. Along, those lines, there's some good news coming out of Nacogdoches.  State and local officials have announced that Regional Infusion Center to treat active COVID-19 patients in East Texas will open in Nacogdoches County.

The facility will open Friday, August 27, with support and collaboration from the State of Texas through the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), Nacogdoches County, the City of Nacogdoches, SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council, Nacogdoches Medical Center, and Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital.  Located at 320 Russell Blvd., just north of Nacogdoches Medical Center the site will operate seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m., administering treatment to 15 patients at a time.

"The process of obtaining a state operated infusion center was a smooth collaboration,” said County Judge Greg Sowell. “This center should ease the strain on our hospitals and help those with the virus to recover.“

The facility will provide monoclonal antibody therapy to patients with active COVID-19 who meet certain medical conditions and who get a referral from a primary care physician. Patients receiving the treatment will not be charged.

At Governor Greg Abbott’s direction, TDEM contracted with a private vendor and will provide necessary equipment and staffing resources to ensure the center is fully operational. Nacogdoches County Commissioners Court recently approved a lease agreement for the facility, while the City of Nacogdoches will cover the expense of utilities.

“The City of Nacogdoches is glad to work hand in hand with our local partners to ensure those that have been impacted by COVID-19 can successfully recover from the devastating virus,” said City of Nacogdoches City Manager, Mario Canizares. “This opportunity will strengthen the community’s fight against COVID-19,” added City Mayor, Jimmy Mize.

Patients must be confirmed COVID-19 positive and have a referral from a primary care physician. The Regional Infusion Center staff will contact referred patients for appointments.

These infusion centers, equipped with Regeneron's monoclonal antibodies, will treat COVID-19 patients 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.

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