JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A photo spreading on social media shows people sick with COVID-19 lying on the floor of the downtown Jacksonville library while waiting for antibody treatment.
In the post, a woman says her husband was at the site getting the treatment Wednesday when he saw people lying on the floor suffering.
The caption reads in part “never seen so many people so sick. Moaning, crying, unable to move.”
Now the city has added wheelchairs, seating and more ways for patients to alert someone if they need help.
The City of Jacksonville said the number of patients trying to get the monoclonal treatment from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals more than doubled Wednesday.
News4Jax went to the site on Thursday and people inside said since this photo was taken they’ve made changes with the help of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and the city.
Workers at the site said if you feel too sick, you need to go to the hospital. The treatment is for people in the early stages of COVID-19.
Denise Miner and her mother got the treatment Thursday after testing positive. Miner was shocked by the photo.
She said some people are getting desperate, and like her, chose not to go to hospitals because of the potentially long waits.
“There’s not much room in the hospitals so people are having to try all kinds of things to try and help themselves,” Miner said.
The city said from Aug. 12 to the 16, 132 Regeneron doses were administered at the Bay Street location and 240 doses total at the new Main Library site.
The assistant chief medical officer at UF Health said the antibodies help recognize what’s not supposed to be in your body to help get rid of it faster.
“So the later you are in your disease, the more of the virus you have in your body, and the harder it is for that treatment to be effective. If you catch it early on, you almost stop in its tracks, so you don’t get as sick,” said Dr. Chirag Patel.
Dr. Patel said the treatment has prevented hospitalizations and death.
We don’t know the conditions of the people in the photo, but doctors say the moment you feel symptoms don’t wait to get treatment.
Keep in mind, the people coming to the Jacksonville site, as well as others being unveiled by Gov. Ron DeSantis across the state, are both vaccinated and unvaccinated, feeling symptoms, have been exposed or have already tested positive for COVID-19.
The city says the data from the treatment is key to alleviating stress on local hospitals.