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The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on Tuesday opened a clinic in St. Paul to expand people's access to monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19. 

Monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment can help people who have COVID-19 feel better faster, and decrease the likelihood they'll need to be hospitalized. 

“This clinic will strengthen the existing capacity of providers in the Twin Cities to give this life-saving treatment,” MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a news release.

According to the federal government's Combat COVID website, mAb treatment can help reduce the amount of the virus in a person's system (the viral load) — the lower the viral load, the more mild a person's symptoms. 

The St. Paul clinic will offer mAb treatment as an outpatient treatment for people who have tested positive for COVID-19, have mild to moderate symptoms that started within the past 10 days, and who are at a high risk of their illness leading to hospitalization or death. (People can be high risk for various reasons, including their age and underlying medical conditions. See some of the most common reasons here.)

Those who have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine — and meet the other qualifications — are still eligible for antibody treatment, MDH says.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are seeking mAb treatment should contact their healthcare provider or request an appointment at the clinic via MDH's online tool, the Minnesota Resource Allocation Platform.

Patients or their caregivers can go to the website (here) to fill out a questionnaire to see if they qualify for the treatment. The website, which is designed to help facilitate equitable access to mAb treatments, will refer people to the nearest location with an available appointment, including the new clinic in St. Paul.

The St. Paul clinic, located near Interstate 35E and Arlington Avenue West, is being operated by MDH and the Matrix Medical Network. Walk-ins are not allowed.

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