COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – The state is deploying more weapons from its arsenal to combat the continuing threat on hospital capacity occurring across Colorado.
Hospitalizations have been climbing at a startling rate since bottoming out over the summer and are now at the highest level since last winter. The vast majority (78 percent) of patients are unvaccinated, according to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Health officials say those hospitalized with the virus who are vaccinated tend to skew older, with an average age of 73.
In an Oct. 28 news conference, Gov. Jared Polis said the state was weighing several measures to help relieve capacity, including requesting a medical surge team from FEMA and temporarily stopping cosmetic surgeries and other elective procedures.
But one tactic outlined by the governor has already been put to action: increased distribution of monoclonal antibody treatment to lessen the risk of serious illness among those newly infected with COVID. Two buses hit the road Monday morning carrying this potentially life-saving treatment.
The chosen destination for one of the buses: the Citadel Mall in Colorado Springs.
The bus pulled into the mall parking lot at 8:30 a.m. The bus, parked near the mass testing and vaccine site by the JCPenney, will serve as a mobile treatment site at the mall through at least Saturday. Health officials hope it’ll serve about 25 people a day. The treatment takes about an hour per person.
“This is another tool in the toolbox,” said Jared Verner with El Paso County Public Health and Environment. “Obviously, vaccinations is the best one and additional measures that we’ve been talking about for the last two years.”
According to the El Paso County health department website, monoclonal antibody treatments are available for the following: patients 12 and older who weigh at least 88 pounds; test positive for COVID-19 with an onset of symptoms within 10 days; and who are not hospitalized, but who are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19.
However, it’s important to note: even if you meet all the above criteria, you cannot just show up at the Citadel Mall this week. Resources are still limited, and so you must have a doctor’s referral to receive the treatment.
“This is to help boost the antibodies that people might have already gotten from the vaccine to hopefully try to prevent hospitalization,” Verner said.
More information can be read here.
Copyright 2021 KKTV. All rights reserved.