JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Public Library’s main location downtown has been closed for a month. It’s where monoclonal antibody treatments are being given.
While demand for the treatments has slowed, there’s no set date for when the library will reopen.
Since they first began being distributed, more than 8,000 doses of the treatment have been administered at the downtown location.
“At the time when we were, and we’re still dealing with COVID, but when we hit the wave earlier this summer, that was the most readily available place,” said Mayor Lenny Curry.
Now, the city is seeing less people seeking treatment at the library. About 300 people received doses over the weekend.
“There are numerous stories of people, lives saved as a result of that treatment in that library and people not being hospitalized,” Curry said. “So I would ask people to be patient with us, but save lives first.”
The Northeast Florida Salvation Army says those who are homeless are probably the most impacted by the library’s closure.
Major Keath Biggers, area commander for the Northeast Florida Salvation Army, says it’s a place for people to take shelter from the elements and look for jobs. He said since the library’s temporary closure, he’s seen more people on the streets.
“I would like to see things returning as quickly as possible to normal with the library,” Biggers said. “It serves a valuable resource to the community.”
The staff members who work at the downtown branch have been sent to other locations, according to a spokesperson. They also noted resources like e-books and audio books can be accessed with a library card.