As the number of COVID-19 cases in Lubbock continues on the trend of 400 cases a day, City of Lubbock officials hosted a virtual press conference on Tuesday to discuss new information about vaccines, Bamlanivimab drug and athletic events.
As of the news conference, 29,378 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Lubbock county. 23,760 are recovered cases while 5,311 are active cases, with the death toll at 307 people.
Katherine Wells, director of the Lubbock Health Department, said surge in cases are not from superspreader events but from people not staying home. Vaccines are coming to Lubbock, but the first people to receive them will be healthcare workers and nursing home residents.
"We will see a lot more vaccine available in our community through doctors offices pharmacies, or community clinics," she said. "Then our health department will be out in the community with drive thru or pop-up clinics."
Well said that the main priority of the health department is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.
Dr. Ronald Cook, local health authority, said that the Federal Drug Administration approved the drug Bamlanivimab for emergency use, and Lubbock has 300 doses. The drug is to help slow down the virus, and patients must fall in a strict criteria to be administered the drug, according to Cook.
"You must have a positive test, and that test must have been turned or positive in the last five days, you must have moderate disease, so significant symptoms from the disease," he said. "And you must be high risk for hospitalization, and those high risk disease process processes include."
Possible recipients of the drug must meet all three criteria to be put on a rank listing to be treated, according to Cook.
On the topic of Thanksgiving, Cook said that Thanksgiving must be smaller than usual, socially distanced and contained to be the household one lives with.
Lubbock Mayor, Dan Pope, said that Tech will be updating their athletic policies to stop tailgating for the rest of the year and to make mask mandatory at basketball games with the penalty of being barred from the rest of the games if someone fails to comply with the new rules. Local school districts will also continue strict occupancy levels for athletics and fine art events.
"It's important to remind everybody that we continue to implement the governor's order to the tee of the law," he said "We will make decisions based on facts, not on fear will remain flexible. And we will stay the course with our effort."