State says monoclonal antibody treatment site slated for Lee County

A coronavirus treatment plan is on its way to Southwest Florida.

Lee County confirmed Tuesday Florida Division of Emergency Management is planning add a monoclonal antibody treatment site in the county.

People hope this lowers hospitalizations for COVID-19.

The monoclonal antibody treatment is aimed to keep people out of the hospital by building antibodies for COVID-19 quickly.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is going all in on monoclonal antibody treatments, opening clinics in Orlando and Jacksonville as well.

This comes as welcomed news for Dr. Rebekah Bernard in Collier County, especially as cases continue to rise.

“We want to keep patients out of the hospital and help them get well quicker,” Bernard said.

Bernard has prescribed the treatment to several of her patients. She says this can be a game changer.

“We’re seeing that in patients who receive the antibodies,” Bernard said. “They are turning the corner more quickly, and many of them are not declining to the point where they need hospitalization.”

Patients told Bernard they are feeling significantly better in 12 to 24 hours. That kind of feedback from patients is why the state is moving quickly to get the clinic up and running in Soutwest Florida.

The location of the clinic in Lee County is yet to be determined. The state hopes to have it up and running soon.

The treatment will help, but Robert Hawes, the director of the FGCU physician assistant program, says it’s not a long-term solution in beating the spread of the virus.

“The monoclonal antibodies are not designed to last in your immune system for a great period of time, as does the vaccine,” Hawkes explained. “So they’re kind of a short-term help.”

Reporter:Zach Oliveri
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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