LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Covenant Health gave us a look inside one of the two Auxiliary Medical Unit Tents set up in Lubbock on Thursday. The medical tents were provided by the State of Texas.
The tent was set up right outside of Covenant Medical Center on Wednesday. This site will be an infusion center that will allow patients with COVID-19 to be treated with an antiviral therapy infusion.
Covenant said its goal is to reduce the patient population being admitted into the hospital.
“What we’re hoping to do here with this infusion tent is to actually take patients who have COVID, start treating them with effective antiviral therapy early in the course of the disease so hopefully, we can prevent the disease from getting worse and prevent a trip to the emergency room,” said Dr. Danny Duriex, who works in Infectious Diseases at Covenant Medical Center
Dr. Duriex said the medical tent should be up and running next week. In an interview with KCBD Wednesday night, Governor Greg Abbott said Lubbock can expect COVID-19 medications, vaccines, and a new antibody therapy arriving soon.
“What he’s talking about is, first of all, the vaccine which may be available, but that’s going to be on our federal/national level,” Duriex said. “Here locally, the FDA has just approved the use of outpatient antibody type medicine that hopefully will be available soon. In selected patients, we may start infusing here as well.”
Walter Cathey, CEO of Covenant Health System in Lubbock said state and local officials have been in contact with each other since last Monday, working together to bring the tent and extra resources to Lubbock.
A news release from Governor Greg Abbott’s office says 716 personnel have been deployed to the region with more being deployed as needed, along with millions of masks, gloves, gowns, and face shields.
“On a shift-by-shift basis, we’re looking at about 10 to 20 personnel that will be inside this tent, be on patients...just because a patient needs different levels of intervention. So we’re gonna have respiratory therapists in here. We’ll have nurses in here, we’ll have our own medical staff in here. It’s really figuring out how to all work together as a team to really fight these fires,” Cathey said.
Cathey said as of this Thursday morning, there were 139 patients with COVID within Covenant Health System. They hope the 14-bed tent will help them reduce the number of patients in the hospital with COVID.
“If you take that 139, and in essence, we’re looking at possibly reducing it by up to 20, 26 patients. That’s a lot,” Cathey said.
A second medical tent was set up outside of University Medical Center on Thursday.