LUBBOCK, Texas – With a week to go until Thanksgiving, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is asking people to keep their guard up as the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to rise.
Abbott spoke Thursday in Lubbock about the first antibody treatment for coronavirus that has arrived in the state and is being distributed.
The governor said the Eli Lilly drug called bamlanivimab has to be administered to coronavirus patients in the early stages of the disease. He said that the goal is to speed the recovery of patients and free up more space in hospitals for critically ill patients. He said guidelines on who should receive the treatment have been developed by federal health officials.
“The goal of this drug is to keep people out of hospitals,” Abbott said.
Abbott said the Department of State Health Services will allocate this initial distribution of bamlanivimab based on three criteria: new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community, new lab-confirmed COVID-19 admissions to hospitals, and total lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals.
The governor said that while the antibody treatment has arrived and coronavirus vaccines are expected to be approved in December, prevention is the best way to stop the spread.
“We’re engaged in a war with this infectious disease,” Abbott said.
Abbott said that while cases are rising, he is confident that if Texans return to the safe practices that were being used in the summer to quell the latest surge -- wear a mask, keep your distance from others, wash your hands and get tested.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines Thursday that recommend Americans postpone holiday travel.
Abbott reiterated his statements earlier this week that another shut down is not on the horizon, saying its smaller gatherings outside of workplaces or businesses where the disease is being spread more right now.
Watch a replay of Abbott’s press conference in the video below.