Antibody center

McKinney is set to be one of multiple locations across the state to serve as the site of a COVID-19 therapeutic infusion center starting this week, state and local officials announced Wednesday.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and local entities including Collin County and Collin College have partnered to launch the center, which will begin accepting patients on Thursday. The center has been given Regeneron’s monoclonal antibodies to treat outpatient cases of COVID-19 who have a referral from a doctor, according to a press release from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office. The treatment is free to patients.

The infusions are meant for COVID-19 patents who are not yet hospitalized or on oxygen supplements, a Collin College press release stated. The site is expected to give treatment to up to 60 patients per day. They’ll be monitored after the infusion and then will be sent home to recuperate.

“Thank you to our partners in McKinney for working alongside the State of Texas to launch this regional infusion center,” Abbott said in a press release. “Our state-sponsored antibody infusion centers are helping Texans recover from COVID-19 and reducing hospitalizations related to this virus. We will continue to work with local officials here in McKinney and across the state to increase access to this free and effective treatment.”

The partnership also includes the North Central Texas Regional Advisory Council and Baylor Scott & White.

“Our team is happy to have been a conduit, connecting the appropriate parties between our hospitals, Collin County Judge Chris Hill, and Collin College,” Jerri Garison, president of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center, Plano and East Region, said in a press release. “Working together as a community is how we will beat this virus, and this infusion center will help.”

A press release from Abbott’s office said COVID-19 antibody infusion treatment can prevent worsening conditions in patients and the need for hospital care. In addition, the facilities can help increase bed capacity in hospitals, the press release stated.

“I’m grateful for our partnership with the State of Texas, Collin College, and Baylor Scott & White Health,” Collin County Judge Chris Hill said in a press release. “They have been tremendous partners with Collin County throughout the pandemic, and our community is stronger because of their service and their leadership. This COVID-19 antibody infusion center is a welcome resource for our community.”

Eligibility requirements include that patients should be within 10 days of symptom onset.

The infusion center will be at the Collin College McKinney Campus Conference Center on 2400 Community Avenue. The patient entrance is on the northwest side of the conference building.

“We are delighted to support our health care partners by making this facility available to the community,” Collin College District President Neil Matkin said. “We have a long-standing relationship with area hospitals, especially Baylor Scott & White Health, due to our extensive health sciences programs, and hosting this therapy center is yet another way we can support their service to local and regional residents.”

The announcement comes a day after Collin County reported 553 Collin County hospital beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients out of 2,702 available beds, according to a county-provided dashboard. The county’s hospitalization number has generally increased since late June with 41 hospitalizations reported for June 21.

The facility will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, Collin College stated. Patients can contact the infusion center by calling 972-548-6674. Doctors can contact the infusion center by emailing infusion@collin.edu.

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