New COVID-19 antibody treatment facility opens in South Bay


CHULA VISTA, Calif. – The second county operated antibody treatment facility is up and running in South County, offering free emergency use of combination monoclonal antibodies to anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. 

Standing with a group of medical professionals outside the former Chula Vista Fire Station No. 5 where the facility is housed, county Supervisor Nora Vargas said “it’s no accident” the area was chosen given how hard it’s been hit by COVID-19.

The no-cost clinic is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“It has had the highest number of coronavirus cases as well as a large number of essential workers who live here, too,” Vargas said.

Although the county has seen a decline in the overall number of positive cases, new cases still are being reported each day. County public health officials on Monday reported 152 new COVID-19 infections and no new deaths, bringing cumulative pandemic totals to 275,112 cases while the death toll remains at 3,674.

Of the 6,982 test results reported Monday, 2% returned positive. The 14-day rolling average of positive tests is 1.8%.

For the second day in a row, hospitalizations related to coronavirus remained at 177. There were 56 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit beds as of Monday, a decrease of one from the previous day. There were 48 staffed, available ICU beds in the county.

The key to the success of monoclonal therapy is to get treatment within the first 10 days of showing symptoms. It works by attaching itself to the spike protein on the virus, health experts say.

“The monoclonal antibodies target those spike proteins to try and prevent them from attaching and entering our cells,” said Dr. Maria Carriedo of San Ysidro Health. “In people with mild or moderate symptoms, we can start the treatment early and it will prevent them from progressing to a more serious illness or even hospitalization.”

The latest combination treatment found a decrease in hospitalizations and death by 70%.

More information on the clinic is available by calling 619-685-2500.

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