Gov. Little Visits IF Hospitals to See Positive Antibody Impacts Toward COVID-19
For Immediate Release
September 16, 2021 Contact: Natalie Podgorski
Governor Little Travels to Idaho Falls Hospitals to See Positive Impacts Antibody Treatment is Having in the Fight Against COVID-19
IDAHO FALLS, ID – Governor Brad Little will visit Idaho Falls Community Hospital and Mountain View Hospital on Thursday to learn more about monoclonal antibody treatments that are helping keep COVID-19 patients from needing to be hospitalized. The two hospitals started providing this outpatient treatment in November of 2020 and have delivered more than 700 doses to date.
“Monoclonal antibody treatments have played a crucial role in helping us manage the pandemic in our community,” said Dr. Joe Anderson, Chief Medical Officer at Idaho Falls Community Hospital. “The treatments kickstart a patient’s natural immune response process to fight off the virus and speeds up their overall recovery. It has become an important tool for helping patients get better at home and has allowed our team to focus our attention on the sickest community members in the hospital.”
Collectively, Idaho Falls Community Hospital and Mountain View Hospital have distributed 722 monoclonal antibody treatments. The pharmacy is providing community members with Bamlanivimab and Regeneron, highly concentrated doses of laboratory-made antibodies shown to be effective against COVID-19. Treatments are available to patients 12 and older who have tested positive for the coronavirus, currently have mild to moderate symptoms but are at high risk of developing more severe symptoms or needing to be hospitalized.
Mountain View Hospital was recently awarded a grant from the State of Idaho to open another monoclonal antibody treatment facility in Blackfoot and expand treatment hours in Idaho Falls.
“The support we’ve received from the State of Idaho and Governor Little is helping us get this medicine to the community members who need it most,” said Dr. Anderson. “We want to do everything we can to help people from becoming severely ill with COVID-19 and are grateful to have this treatment.”
There are currently 32 Idaho providers who are using monoclonal antibodies in Idaho. According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Idaho providers have received at least 140 shipments of monoclonal antibodies in August and September, a 457% increase in shipments compared to July.
Monoclonal antibodies should be given as soon as possible after positive COVID-19 test results are confirmed and within 10 days of symptom onset. Unfortunately, the antibodies are not authorized for patients who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 or require oxygen therapy.
Monoclonal antibodies do not replace the need for the community to take active steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Doctors continue to encourage Idahoans to wear masks, get the COVID-19 vaccine and practice physical distancing.