COVID-19 antibody treatments available in county
Both St. Luke Hospital in Marion and Hillsboro Community Hospital have antibody treatment for COVID-19 available, but who is able to get the treatment depends.
HCH chief executive director Mark Rooker said the hospital is administering two to three antibody treatments nearly every day.
The patient who came the furthest for the treatment was from Hutchinson, said chief nursing officer DJ Craighead.
To qualify for the treatment, a patient must be within a specified number of days after a positive COVID test and meet other criteria.
“If they need oxygen, they can’t have the treatment,” Craighead said.
Most antibody treatments are given through an IV and the patient is observed for a time before they go home, she said. One treatment can only be given on an inpatient basis.
Rooker said the state only allows the hospital to have a certain quantity of antibody treatment at a time.
St. Luke CEO Jeremy Ensey said the hospital gave 14 doses of antibody treatment during the first week of December, eight doses during the second week, and five doses so far this week.
The hospital’s supply has been enough to keep up with demand, he said.
St. Luke is turning away patients from outside the community to reserve its limited supply for county residents, Ensey said.
“We are only allotted a certain amount from the state, so there are not any guarantees that we will have a dose,” Ensey said.
According to Kansas Department of Health and Environment data, Marion County has had 2,048 cases of COVID to date.
Data on new cases specific to Marion County was not available on the state’s COVID report Tuesday, but the total number reported for the county is 151 higher than two weeks ago.
The county health department reported 73 active cases of COVID Monday, down from 84 active cases Thursday, and from 88 active cases Dec. 6.