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Hospital leaders see an increase in COVID-19 positivity rates

This comes as cities like Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston are all out of the monoclonal antibody that is most effective against omicron.

ODESSA, Texas — Infusion centers in five large Texas metros have exhausted their supply of the monoclonal antibody treatment that is most effective against the more-transmissible COVID-19 variant, omicron.

Cities like Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston are all out of the treatment, called sotrovimab. What about right here in West Texas?

NewsWest 9 reached out Medical Center Hospital and Midland Memorial Hospital to ask about a shortage in the antibody drugs.

The Odessa Infusion Center is the only location for people across Midland and Odessa. It is operated by the state of Texas.

Trevor Tankersley, Director of Public Relations for MCH, told NewsWest 9 the clinic is contracted by the state, but it is run by the Incident Command of Odessa.

MCH still provides them with space, oxygen and medication. Tankersley said they aren't out of the treatment yet.

"We got the latest shipment of the sotrovimab, which is more effective for the omicron variant, today," said Tankersley. "We are expecting those to be the last shipments till at least mid-January, as the state has put a hold on that."

Tankersley said there is supply, but that does not mean the region could not see a shortage in the next few weeks.

"That Regeneron clinic is seeing about 30 to 40 patients a day," said Tankersley. "Like I said, we have 700 to 800 doses after today's shipment, so we still have enough roughly for the next couple of weeks."

Hospital leaders continue to emphasize caution as more people in the community continue to test positive for the virus.

"About a week before Christmas, our positivity rate was about only about 3 or 4%," said Tankersley. "That number has jumped to about 25% over the past few days, so positivity rate is definitely going up."

According to a spokesperson at MMH, they are also seeing a huge increase in testing through their testing centers.

On Wednesday, their west campus saw a 46% positivity rate. Meaning 41 of 89 people tested were positive.