City considers moving downtown Jacksonville library antibody treatment center

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The need for monoclonal antibody treatment at the downtown Jacksonville library has decreased as COVID-19 cases dropped for seven straight weeks, according to the Florida Department of Health.

At the peak of the delta variant wave, the center treated up to 300 people a day. In early October, that number dropped to about 80 daily.

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“It’s been a very good thing for our hospitals to have that where it is,” Brian Hughes, the city’s chief administrative officer, said.

On Oct. 4, he told city council’s Neighborhoods, Community Services, Public Health and Safety Committee that changes would likely come to the downtown library site.

In a statement to Action News Jax, the city said, “We have seen a decrease in the need for this lifesaving treatment and are grateful to Gov. DeSantis and the State of Florida for making this available to those who need it ... We are looking at alternate locations to offer the monoclonal treatment and we will make sure to update you once any decisions are made.”

The library was originally chosen in collaboration with the state because of its central location to all of the area hospitals, according to Hughes.

The city told Action News Jax that it treated 9,975 people total, but did not have daily counts.

Long lines formed at the peak of the site’s operation.

“Incredibly busy. And COVID was peaking. I live at the beaches, and it just seemed like it was everywhere at that time,” Louis Lopez said.

He took the now viral picture of a woman lying on the floor at the treatment center.

He had gone to get treated Aug. 18 after contracting COVID-19 even though he is vaccinated.

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“I had a migraine that lasted eight days, and it just would not stop. The day following the treatment, the migraine started to break,” he said.