Texas Governor Greg Abbott is promising the state will not shut down again over coronavirus.
The governor told reporters today he was worried about the emotional strain put on people who have to stay in a single place for a long time. He also cited concern lockdowns wouldn't stop the virus from spreading saying casual or home gatherings tend to be virus spreading events. The governor was also worried about effect on the economy if the state was shut down again. Abbott wants local governments to enforce the current coronavirus restrictions saying they were partially-designed by doctors.
The governor made the comments while in Lubbock where he provided an update on the the distribution of bamlanivimab, the Eli Lilly & Company monoclonal antibody therapy for COVID-19. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has allocated this initial shipment of bamlanivimab to acute care hospitals across Texas, including hospitals in Lubbock, with additional doses expected to be shipped each week. DSHS prioritized communities with high COVID-19 disease burden for this initial allotment through a formula that included total new case counts in the area, new COVID-19 hospital admissions and total COVID-19 hospital patients.
"Every day, the Lone Star State is closer to turning the corner of this pandemic thanks to medical advancements like bamlanivimab," said Governor Abbott. "This therapy drug will help prevent hospitalizations and reduce the strain on our healthcare system and workers. However, as encouraging as these advancements are, there is still no substitute for personal responsibility. The State urges all Texans to continue to wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands, especially as we head into the holiday season."
Bamlanivimab is for outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are aged 12 years or older and are at higher risk of severe disease. It has been shown to prevent hospitalizations in some patients when used before they become very sick. This initial allocation is phase one and focused on hospitals; phase two may be broader and include other facility types like nursing homes and infusion centers. Hospitals that were allocated doses should have received or will be receiving calls about their allocations over the next few days from AmerisourceBergen, the same distributor as remdesivir. Hospitals can accept or decline their allocation. Declined doses will be reallocated to other Texas hospitals.