Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Thursday, Aug. 19, that the state would deploy additional medical personnel and launch more COVID-19 antibody infusion centers over the next week. 

“Front-line health care workers across our state are working tirelessly to keep Texans healthy and safe,” said Abbott in a statement.

“The substantial increase of infusion centers will reduce hospitalizations, and the added medical personnel will help treat COVID-19 patients already in hospitals,” he said. “Hospitalizations can also be prevented by Texans getting the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Texas will call up about 2,700 medical personnel by the end of this week to help hospitals care for the increasing number of COVID-19 patients across the state. Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will increase that to at least 5,500 by the end of next week. 

The additional deployment of personnel will be fully funded by the state through Sept. 30.

Meanwhile, the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) will launch two new regional infusion centers in Beaumont and Odessa by next week. These infusion centers are complement several others that launched across the state last week, including Austin, Corpus Christi, Conroe, Harlingen, and Lubbock. 

These infusion centers, equipped with Regeneron’s monoclonal antibodies, will treat COVID-19 patients at no cost 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 illest patients. 

Currently, there are more than 140 centers providing antibody treatments at hospitals and clinics across the state.

The Hill reported that Abbott decided to expand the COVID-19 antibody infusion centers after receiving antibody COVID-19 treatment following his breakthrough positive diagnosis. 

Abbott announced his positive test on Tuesday though he has been fully vaccinated.

In a statement on Thursday, his office said that “Governor Abbott’s doctor prescribed Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody therapy treatment, which is available at no cost to all Texans who get a doctor’s referral.”

“It is recommended that Texans testing positive for COVID-19 seek this antibody therapeutic drug because of its effectiveness to help keep people out of hospitals,” the office said.