As COVID-19 trends appear optimistic in Southern California, San Diego County is gearing up for the opening of its second antibody treatment center this week.
The former Chula Vista Fire Station No. 5 will act as the new Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Center (MARC) at San Ysidro Health beginning Monday, the county announced. At the site, adult and pediatric COVID-19 patients will be treated with FDA-authorized monoclonal antibody therapies free of charge.
These antibodies are laboratory-created proteins that work by mimicking the immune system’s ability to fight viruses. According to the county, the antibody therapy has “proven to significantly reduce hospital visits and death in COVID-19 positive patients, if administered within 10 days of the onset of symptoms.”
The treatment is administered in the veins and lasts less than an hour, the county said in a statement.
Chula Vista’s upcoming site will be the county’s second MARC location. Palomar Medical Center in downtown Escondido opened its MARC in February and became San Diego County’s first site dedicated to the treatment model.
Like the Escondido location, Chula Vista’s center will be open seven days a week to offer COVID-19 patients the treatment, regardless of their health insurance of immigration status. A physician’s referral is not required to receive treatment.
The Chula Vista-based treatment center will make its debut at 9:30 a.m. Monday and then be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. It is located at 391 Oxford St.
Patients or health care providers can call (619) 685-2500 to schedule an appointment at either the Chula Vista or Escondido MARC location.