Minnesota to open three test-to-treat COVID clinics
Minnesotans who test positive for COVID-19 will soon be able to receive a prescription for immediate, free treatment at three state-run locations.
What's happening: Testing sites in Brooklyn Park, Moorhead and Duluth will offer the antiviral pill Paxlovid to eligible patients under a new "test-to-treat" program backed by the federal government.
Why it matters: The treatment dramatically reduces the chances that someone with COVID will become severely ill, Axios' Caitlin Owens reported.
What they're saying: Health commissioner Jan Malcolm called the treatments "a critical piece of our fight against COVID-19."
- "New community test to treat sites will ensure those treatments are more accessible and available statewide," she said in a statement.
How it works: People who test positive on a rapid antigen test at one of the sites will have an opportunity to be evaluated by an on-site clinician, who will decide whether the patient meets the criteria for a prescription.
Of note: MDH is still seeking authorization to actually distribute the medication on-site.
- For now, you'll have to get the prescription filled at a pharmacy of your choosing.
What’s next: The Brooklyn Park site, located in the Starlite Center at 8085 Brooklyn Blvd., will begin offering treatments Friday. Moorhead and Duluth follow early next week, with more potential centers in the works.
The bottom line: Paxlovid is most effective when started within a few days of the onset of symptoms.
- Officials hope linking the testing process with the option of getting a prescription, as some pharmacies and health centers already do, will improve access for patients who could benefit from the pills.
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