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AU Health opening new COVID-19 clinic Wednesday



AUGUSTA, Ga. – COVID-19 patients at Augusta University Health will get the opportunity to receive new treatment on Wednesday, hospital officials say.

AU Health will open a monoclonal antibody therapy clinic.

“This is the most encouraging to come along to deal with the issue of hospital overcrowding is to prevent people from being admitted in the first place,” Dr. Phillip Coule with AU Health said.

Coule says for the general population at this point, it’s even more encouraging than the vaccine. It’s an IV antibody treatment for COVID-19 given in an outpatient setting.

“Doing this type of therapy allows us to keep people healthier and to manage this disease better,” Coule said.

It’s proven as AU Health has been using it in their emergency department for a couple of months.

“People that you would predict would be at high-risk for complications requiring admission have actually done well and had minimal symptoms from the disease,” Coule said.

The goal of this clinic is to keep high-risk patients out of the hospital in the first place. It’s part of the mission to reduce hospital overcrowding as cases are likely to surge throughout the holiday season.

“It’s people that have developed symptoms that you can protect would be at a higher risk for a bad outcome,” Coule said.

The treatment was recently given the OK by the Food and Drug Administration as a method for treating the respiratory virus.

On top of that, President Donald Trump received the treatment when he came down with the virus shortly before the election.

AU says you can be treated at the clinic through a referral from your doctor.

As of now, it’s only open to anyone 65 and older with COVID symptoms and anyone aged 55 and older and high risk with COVID-19.

The treatment will take place at a separate infusion area at AU’s Moore Clinic.