Positive results from COVID-19 treatments in Lubbock

"The future number of people going to hospitals, should be on the decline," Governor Abbott explained in November of last year while visiting Lubbock.

That prediction, appears to have come to fruition.

Area hospitals have seen a drop in COVID-19 patients since the arrival of monoclonal antibody treatments late that month.

From a high of 360 to now just under 200.

"Lately our numbers have seemed to stabilize some," Dr. Drew Payne said.

Dr. Payne is an internal medicine specialist with UMC and Texas Tech Physicians.

He works at the daily infusion clinic inside one of the mobile tent units.

So far, about 1,000 patients have received the free treatment either at UMC or Covenant. 

"Probably a little early to tell if ours are helping, I think that the initial data shows that it is. Most patients say that they tolerate it pretty well," Dr. Payne explained. "About two-thirds say that they feel a little bit better, about a third say that they feel the same," he added.

According to Payne, that data matches research trials.

But it only remains available to those with underlying high risk conditions, who are in their first days of infection. 

"By no means is it a miracle drug, but I would say that this drug is something that should be considered for people that are high risk for being hospitalized," he said.

Trauma Service Area B, which includes Lubbock County, still remains above the 15% threshold designating it a "high hospitalization" area by the state.

"This is not something that's going away anytime soon. We are a tertiary referral center for all of the Panhandle so all the sickest patients come here," Dr. Payne said.

Meanwhile, statewide hospitalizations remain at 13, 928.

The state's record is 14,218 on January 12. 

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