Coronavirus

On Thursday, Anderson County Judge Robert Johnston reported that Palestine Regional Medical Center is full with 19 COVID patients in the intensive care unit.

“This is the fullest I have ever seen our hospital in all the years I’ve served as county judge,” Johnston said.

According to Johnston, PRMC continues to work at capacity. There are patients that need to be in ICU but are on hold in the emergency room and the hospital is still on diversion for outside transfers. The hospital has cancelled all non-emergency surgery until further notice.

The Net Health website reported there are 196 new cases, 873 active cases and 3,854 recovered cases in Anderson County as of Sept. 13.

For those that think they might have COVID-19, Anderson County is operating a COVID-19 rapid testing clinic at the Palestine Civic Center. It is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturday at 1819 W. Spring St.

They are also operating a Regeneron Infusion Clinic, for patients that qualify and tested positive for COVID-19, a joint effort with PRMC, at the civic center.

The infusions are a treatment for persons who have tested positive for COVID-19. The treatment must be administered within a particular time frame from when a person contracted the virus. The monoclonal antibody therapeutics are primarily delivered through a one-dose intravenous infusion. The process takes around two hours, including time for observation for side effects.

These products have been shown to reduce the need for hospitalization for eligible patients with mild to moderate symptoms, but these treatments are most beneficial when they are given to patients early in symptom progression.

You must be referred by a doctor for the infusion therapy.

Testing will be done on anyone that has been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19 or personally has had symptoms for no longer than the seven previous days. Testing is not allowed for healthy patients seeking negative tests for travel or to return to work.

To be tested, online registration is required and you need to bring identification. You can log onto http://tinyurl.com/COV2RapidTest or call 903-724-2803 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. for assistance with registration.

At the clinic, you must arrive in a car wearing a mask and remain there during the testing and results process which may take up to 30 minutes. No one in the vehicle is allowed to exit the vehicle.

You can also get COVID-19 testing at your doctor’s office, medical clinics and CVS.

To sign up to volunteer log onto https://tinyurl.com/InfusionCenterStaff.

Dr. Brandy Ricard-Watson, the Anderson County Health Advisor, urges everyone to follow the COVID-19 guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control including getting vaccinated, wearing masks and social distancing.

CVS, Walgreens, Brookshire’s and Kroger's pharmacies all have the vaccines available throughout the week. If you are looking for a specific vaccine, you need to call ahead and ensure they have the particular one you want at a specific location. All three vaccines are available locally.

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