COVID-19 test swab
A COVID-19 test swab. Courtesy county HHSA

COVID-19 activity remains high in San Diego County Friday, the Health and Human Services Agency reported, but antiviral pills and monoclonal antibodies can help with treatment to avoid getting severe symptoms.

“Monoclonal antibodies and antiviral pills work great to keep people from developing severe COVID-19,” said Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, county public health officer. “If you’re at higher risk of developing severe illness, you should seek treatment immediately.”

Antiviral pills and monoclonal antibodies should be given within days after the onset of symptoms to be effective. So, you should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as you start developing symptoms. If you are 12 or older and test positive and are at high risk of progressing to severe disease, contact your doctor immediately so that you can get treatment.

If you do not have a healthcare provider, you can call 2-1-1 to find one. You can also call a Monoclonal Antibody Regional Center at 619-685-2500 to access monoclonal antibody treatment at no cost, regardless of health insurance or immigration status.

Treatment centers and medical offices in the region may offer oral antiviral pills, which are taken by mouth, and/or monoclonal antibodies, which are delivered as an intravenous infusion. Your healthcare provider will determine what treatment option is best for you based on your symptoms, age and potential underlying conditions.

Novavax, a more traditional vaccine against COVID-19, is now available in San Diego County. Novavax is available at local healthcare providers, retail pharmacies, and community clinics, as well as county public health centers and community vaccination events.

The HHSA reported 1,017 new infections and eight deaths in its most recent data increasing cumulative counts to 898,520 cases and 5,437 deaths. A total of 7,045 cases were reported in the past week compared to 9,495 infections identified the previous week.

Meanwhile, patients hospitalized with COVID-19 increased by 20 to 346, bucking a downward trend since a recent peak of 465 on July 22. Those patients with the virus in intensive care units declined by one to 35, down from a recent peak of 54 in the same time period and the number of available hospital beds decreased by two to 260.

San Diego County’s case rate per 100,000 residents 12 years of age and older is 52.03 for people fully vaccinated and boosted, 34.81 for fully vaccinated people and 103.28 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.

More than 3.01 million or 90% of San Diegans age 6 months and older are at least partially vaccinated. Nearly 2.66 million or 79.5% are fully vaccinated. A total of 1,432,313 or 58.7% of 2,439,821 eligible San Diegans have received a booster.

The HHSA updates data on Monday and Thursday nights.

–City News Service



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Ellen Bullock