Travis County health leaders say Regional COVID-19 Therapeutic Infusion Center will help unburden hospitals

Photo of Judge Andy Brown at a press conference
Travis County Judge Andy Brown said the Regional COVID-19 Therapeutic Infusion Center in Southeast Austin will help keep patients' symptoms mild. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)

Travis County Judge Andy Brown said the Regional COVID-19 Therapeutic Infusion Center in Southeast Austin will help keep patients' symptoms mild. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)

As Travis County's options for vaccine distribution expand, so do COVID-19 treatment options. Following approval by Gov. Greg Abbott through the Texas Division of Emergency Management in late December, a Regional COVID-19 Therapeutic Infusion Center opened in southeastern Travis County on Jan. 6. Since the center's opening, staff has administered more than 120 doses of the antivirus antibody treatment Regeneron, according to Jason Pickett, the Austin-Travis County alternate health authority.

"We're hoping that this resource will help to decrease the number of patients that are hospitalized from this disease," Pickett said at a Jan. 13 news conference. "We know, however, that the need far outstrips what we have available."

Currently, Pickett said the facility has the capacity to treat around 25 patients each day but hopes to build that capacity up to 75. Patients are referred from Austin Public Health's COVID-19 testing staff, as well as health care organizations such as CommUnityCare. Pickett also announced a call center had been established for the facility to process referral requests from local physicians, prioritizing vulnerable individuals who have tested positive for the coronavirus. The facility, which is set up at 2901 Montopolis Drive, Austin, in the parking lot of CommUnityCare's Southeast Health & Wellness Center, does not accept walk-ins.

The Regional COVID-19 Therapeutic Infusion Center is staffed by a state contractor, but leaders from the city and county have had a hand in setting up the facility and choosing its location in Southeast Austin, an area that has seen high COVID-19 positivity rates.

"We're investing in Southeast Travis County," Travis County Judge Andy Brown said. "We're working with the state and the city and the county and all of our local partners together."


As access to Regeneron expands, Pickett said he expects to see similar treatment facilities in other areas of Travis County.
By Olivia Aldridge

Multi-Platform Journalist

Olivia hosts and produces Community Impact Newspaper's podcasts, The Austin Breakdown, The Houston Breakdown and The DFW Breakdown. She launched the podcasts after nearly three years as a reporter for the newspaper, covering public health, business, development and Travis County government for the Central Austin edition. Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas.