WACO, Texas – A Regional Infusion Center will open Tuesday at Texas State Technical College. The center will help treat COVID-19 patients in Central Texas.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management partnered with local organizations to bring this to Waco.

“This is something we requested around the first part of September,” Waco-McLennan Co. Public Health District Public Information officer Kelly Craine said. “We looked at our hospitalizations, and we were concerned.”

The monoclonal antibody infusions can lessen COVID-19 symptoms and prevent hospitalizations. The infusions are meant for COVID-19 patients who are not hospitalized or on oxygen supplements.

TDEM is contracted with a private vendor that will provide equipment and staff. Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Hillcrest is providing the therapeutic drugs.

Once a patient has a positive COVID-19 test, Craine says to contact your doctor about what the best option is for you. The monoclonal antibody infusion was emergency approved by the FDA, and Craine says it has had positive results.

Craine said having this center will take pressure off local hospitals in a couple of different ways. The treatment lessens the chances of hospitalization. Also, there are already infusion centers in some hospitals – so by adding a separate infusion center, this will allow medical professionals to spend more time in the hospital and less time in their infusion centers.

“It will give them a little bit of an ease, a little bit of a break where they can have those medical professionals treating patients as opposed to giving infusions,” Craine said.

But she says the key is to not get sick in the first place by getting vaccinated.

“Don’t get sick. That’s the way that you don’t get sick. You get vaccinated,” Craine said.

The treatments are free, and the center is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The center does not take walk-ins, so patients must either be referred by a doctor, or the patient must make an appointment by calling 254-867-2005.