Governor DeSantis announced Thursday that the 21 monoclonal antibody treatment centers he issued last month have resulted in a decrease in the number of hospitalizations in Florida that surged due to the COVID-19 delta variant.
Data from the Florida Hospital Association from Wednesday showed that 14,682 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday – a decrease of 9.9% in the last seven days.
Stationed at Palm Beach County’s Department of Health, DeSantis’ made his announcement during a press conference, as he continues his tour of the state educating Floridians about the treatment that aims to limit the severity of COVID symptoms in patients.
DeSantis said, “For too long during this whole ordeal – particularly since we had the monoclonals – the message to a lot of patients was basically, ‘Hey if you’re infected just go home and hope you don’t get deathly ill enough to come back to the hospital.'”
He added, “Those days are over in Florida.”
Since the opening of the first monoclonal treatment center on August 12th in Jacksonville, the state of Florida officially exceeded more than 45,000 monoclonal antibody treatments administered to patients statewide at the 21 state treatment sites on Thursday, according to a press release from DeSantis’ office.
“We have seen close to a 25% reduction in daily hospital admissions for COVID. We’ve seen a decline in the hospital census and we’ve seen a decline in the emergency room visits COVID-like illness,” DeSantis said.
Highlighting the 45,000 treatments, DeSantis mentions that Palm Beach County has been doing “200 treatments every single day.”
While explaining the difference between the monoclonal antibody treatment and getting vaccinated, DeSantis noted that the COVID-19 vaccine is designed to prevent severe illness and “ideally” to prevent infection. As far as the number of hospitalizations and the COVID-19 vaccine, he said, “It has reduced the likelihood people will be hospitalized or that people will die, and I think you see that pretty consistently in the data, which is something that is very good.”
However, he added, “At the same time, we are seeing people get infected regardless of vaccination status. When you talk about the most vulnerable people to COVID – almost all [of] them are vaccinated – you still have a need for early treatment there,” as well as individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness.
Although the monoclonal antibody treatment centers issued by DeSantis have only been in operation for over three weeks, he pointed out that the centers are not the only way to receive the treatment.
According to DeSantis, “many” hospitals have been providing treatment since December, and he encouraged patients that do not have access to a treatment center, to seek the treatment through hospitals.
– – –
Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]