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Asante working to expand COVID-19 emergency therapy

Asante is hoping to expand monoclonal antibody treatment in hopes of easing pressure on local hospitals.

Posted: Aug 25, 2021 6:32 PM
Updated: Aug 26, 2021 10:19 AM

ASHLAND, Ore. – Every day more and more people are being hospitalized with COVID-19 in Jackson County. To help reduce this strain, Asante is working to implement monoclonal therapy.

One of Asante’s infectious disease experts say that monoclonal antibodies attach to the coronavirus spike protein and prevents the virus from attaching to our cells and attacking them.

The hope is that this therapy could help reduce hospitalizations in our area by treating hundreds of people across Jackson County who are suffering from mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19; potentially preventing the virus from progressing and sending patients to hospitals that are already overwhelmed.

“Large studies, including over 700-800 patients show that these drugs have the potential to reduce hospitalizations by 70% as compared to patients who didn’t receive it,” said Pratibha Seshadri, infectious disease expert with Asante, “This could take a huge burden off of our overflowing hospitals.”

The monoclonal antibody treatment is free whether you have insurance or not.

One of the hurdles that Asante must overcome before using the recently approved emergency therapy is staffing.

Right now, Asante doesn’t have the staffing capacity to open another location to provide the therapy.

“We aren’t sure if we’ll be able to keep up with the demand so I think we will have to figure this out in the coming weeks as to where else we can safely bring in these patients,” said Seshadri.

Right now, monoclonal therapy is available for people with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 at Asante Ashland Community Hospital. Asante officials have confirmed with NewsWatch 12 that they are working on getting the therapy treatment at their Black Oak facility.

While monoclonal therapy could help treat mild or moderate COVID-19, Seshadri warns, it is not a replacement for getting vaccinated.

“I do want to highlight, folks who receive this (therapy) should still get vaccinated down the line. Right now, the recommendation is to wait 90 days (after infection) before getting vaccinated. I don’t want anyone to go away with the impression that this provides life-long protection,” said Seshadri.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 549942

Reported Deaths: 5908
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah91246935
Washington66239461
Marion53184568
Clackamas48202458
Lane42140396
Deschutes36193225
Jackson33315409
Linn19533221
Umatilla18893190
Douglas15964322
Yamhill13371168
Josephine12835290
Polk11462112
Klamath10887178
Benton1076146
Coos8224128
Malheur672895
Columbia569066
Jefferson554070
Lincoln502762
Crook451662
Union402765
Wasco378250
Clatsop353937
Tillamook284354
Hood River277138
Baker267940
Curry253640
Morrow247526
Grant130917
Harney130034
Lake115323
Wallowa95913
Sherman2303
Gilliam2244
Wheeler1652
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 7326549

Reported Deaths: 78101
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles234382128181
San Diego6411724547
Riverside5167235599
San Bernardino4991406258
Orange4871995941
Santa Clara2456731986
Sacramento2350502598
Alameda2030591566
Fresno1932342425
Kern1917411974
Contra Costa1547751085
Ventura1494071245
San Joaquin1413831957
Stanislaus1122251512
San Francisco103373694
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San Mateo94920644
Santa Barbara69671581
Monterey65883650
Sonoma64933429
Solano64606391
Placer55976510
Merced54745718
Imperial50370819
San Luis Obispo43050381
Kings41890392
Santa Cruz33640237
Madera31559336
Butte31274347
Yolo30735270
Shasta29382508
Marin28360251
El Dorado23973175
Napa20209109
Sutter17892198
Humboldt14600128
Yuba13555101
Nevada13121111
Tehama11815142
Mendocino11152109
San Benito1082990
Tuolumne970091
Lassen899459
Lake8245117
Amador682073
Unassigned61533
Calaveras581494
Siskiyou549762
Glenn524439
Del Norte431443
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Inyo372749
Mono27294
Plumas231512
Mariposa227218
Trinity113019
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