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Health officials urge residents to seek treatment after testing positive or being exposed to COVID-19

The Surveyor | December 09, 2021 | Health & Fitness

The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) urges residents who have symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested right away and, if positive, quickly seek monoclonal antibody therapy. Individuals who have been exposed to the virus may also be eligible to receive the treatment. When given early, monoclonal antibody treatment can prevent serious illness and help patients avoid a hospital stay.

Residents can call the Health Department’s COVID-19 call center Monday-Friday 9:00 am-4:30 pm at 970-498-5500 or contact their healthcare provider to get help accessing monoclonal antibody therapy.

This outpatient treatment is available to people as young as 12 years old who have tested positive for COVID-19, including with an at-home rapid test, within the past 10 days, have mild symptoms, are at high risk for getting a severe infection, and are not yet hospitalized. This includes people 65 years old or older, pregnant women, those who are obese or overweight and people with certain underlying medical conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart conditions, weakened immune systems, mental health conditions, lung, kidney or liver diseases, and more. More information about COVID-19 therapeutics can be found on the LCDHE website at www.larimer.org/covidtreatment.

“Once someone is sick enough that they go to the hospital needing oxygen, it is likely too late to be given monoclonal antibody therapy, which is why testing right when symptoms of COVID-19 start is so important,” says Dr. Paul Mayer, Larimer County Medical Officer. “Testing leads to quick identification of cases and quick access to monoclonal antibodies for those people,” says Mayer.

There are free drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in Larimer County, with results returned in 2-3 days:

  • Foundations Church, 1380 N. Denver Ave, Loveland, open 8:00-6:00 M-F
  • Timberline Church, 2908 S Timberline Rd, Fort Collins, open 8:00-6:00 M-F
  • Estes Park Event Complex, 1125 Rooftop Way, Estes Park, open 8:00-5:00 M-F

Colorado also provides no-cost rapid tests that can be shipped straight to someone’s home. For more information on the at-home testing program please visit: https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-testing-at-home

Monoclonal antibodies are not a substitute for vaccination against COVID-19. Getting vaccinated continues to be the best way to keep from getting sick with COVID-19. LCDHE strongly recommends anyone 5 years old and older get the vaccine, and that everyone ages 18 and over get their booster dose. Those with questions about vaccination should talk with their health care provider.

“Along with increasing access to therapeutics such as monoclonal antibody therapy and oral antiviral medications, our current priorities are to maximize vaccination, and continue to suppress the spread of the virus and reduce hospitalizations through early testing and contact tracing, and universal mask-wearing,” says Tom Gonzales, Larimer County Public Health Director.

The Larimer County Department of Health & Environment has a webpage dedicated to helping residents find information about COVID-19 vaccination and register for an appointment at www.larimer.org/covidvaccine. The direct link to schedule an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine is: https://larimerhealth.secure.force.com/Vaccine/. Individuals may also call LCDHE at 970-498-5500 for assistance scheduling an appointment at LCDHE or other locations in the county. Phone assistance is available in English and Spanish.

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