Minnesota expanding access to monoclonal antibody treatments amid COVID-19 surge

(KSTP) – Amid the surge of COVID-19, the state of Minnesota and M Health Fairview are expanding access to monoclonal antibody treatments.

Gov. Tim Walz’s office said Tuesday that the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will expand the hours and capacity at its St. Paul Clinic and has already requested additional staff support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the central region of the state.

Additionally, M Health Fairview is adding around 300 appointments for monoclonal antibody treatment at its Columbia Heights clinic, while MDH will add 140 appointments per week. The efforts will increase the state’s capacity for monoclonal antibody treatments by 50%, according to Walz’s office.

"From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve worked hard to protect the health and safety of Minnesotans at every turn," Walz said in a statement. "That’s why we’re working to expand access to monoclonal antibody COVID-19 treatments for Minnesotans, strengthening our efforts to get Minnesotans across the state the resources they need to fight this virus."

Appointments are available online, and walk-ins aren’t accepted.

Monoclonal antibody treatments can help patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms that started within the past 10 days or for those who are at high risk of hospitalization or death. The state has been administering about 2,000 doses of the treatment per week since October, with the peak coming the week of Nov. 10-16 at 2,599 treatments.