ST PAUL, Minn. — The state of Minnesota is working to expand access to monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19.
Gov. Tim Walz's office announced Tuesday that the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and M Health Fairview will increase the number of weekly appointments available for monoclonal antibody treatments, resulting in a 50% capacity increase in the Twin Cities area.
Monoclonal antibodies are administered as an outpatient IV infusion for those with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms who are at higher risk for hospitalization or death.
As part of the expansion, MDH will add an additional 140 appointments each week, expanding hours and capacity at its St. Paul Clinic. The department is also requesting additional staffing help from FEMA.
M Health Fairview will add an additional 300 appointments at its new Columbia Heights Clinic.
Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 can schedule an appointment for monoclonal antibody treatment using the online Minnesota Resource Allocation Platform (MNRAP). Providers can also schedule appointments for their patients online. Walk-in appointments are not available at these clinics. The MNRAP site will refer patients to the closest clinic with an opening in the Twin Cities or Greater Minnesota.
“From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve worked hard to protect the health and safety of Minnesotans at every turn,” Gov. 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.”
According to the governor's office, Minnesota has averaged 2,000 doses of monoclonal antibodies each week since early October, peaking in mid-November with nearly 2,600 doses administered.
“These moves strengthen the capacity of providers in the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota to respond to potentially serious COVID-19 cases,” Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a statement. “We thank M Health Fairview for its continued commitment to treating COVID-19 patients by provide this life saving treatment for more than a year.”