Antibody treatments administered at Canal View

Aspirus Health and Canal View Houghton County are collaborating on a new treatment option for at-risk COVID patients.
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 7:10 PM EDT
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HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - Despite anyone’s vaccination status, social distancing efforts or the use of vigilance – the delta variant of COVID-19 has spread its way into Canal View Houghton County.

However, a new partnership with Aspirus Health offers antibody treatments on-site, helping mitigate initial positives before they become an outbreak.

“We’re a high-risk population. So this isn’t something that they’re doing for the general population at this time,” said Kim Salmi, Canal View Houghton County administrator. “But, for us, in order to prevent widespread infection, it works.”

Aspirus has offered REGEN-COV antibody treatments since November for at-risk patients. Criteria include illnesses such as diabetes, organ disease or having any form of immunosuppression.

“[It’s just] a little extra for your immune system,” said Aspirus U.P. Region Pharmacy Director Jessica Bessner. “To help fight the virus a little bit faster.”

REGEN-COV treatments are administered through an IV, or a subcutaneous injection similar to an EpiPen. Making administration quicker and easier on staff who must care for several patients at a time.

“We’re allowed to also extend that and offer that treatment to other residents on that wing,” said Salmi. “To minimize and mitigate a huge COVID outbreak, and it seems to be working so far.”

Antibody treatment is typically begun within ten days of symptom onset, or exposure.

“They’re able to start to feel a lot better the next morning,” said Bessner. “After they go to sleep for the night and get some good rest, they’re able to wake up a lot better symptomatically.”

Canal View Houghton County and Aspirus Health say they are thankful to have made this important collaboration to continue protecting residents in the facility.

Canal View Houghton County announced Thursday evening that a resident at the facility is positive for COVID-19 after testing Thursday afternoon. That resident was already in quarantine and should not pose a risk to other residents. Canal View says no staff are positive at this time.

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