In a new partnership with the State of Georgia, Morgan Medical Center (MMC) has opened a free drive-thru COVID testing clinic outside of the hospital. The hospital has also launched a new outpatient clinic to treat COVID patients with an antibody infusion.
The new clinics come on the cusp of Georgia surpassing 1.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases, more than 20,000 coronavirus deaths, and nearly 75,000 coronavirus hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
“We opened an outpatient REGEN-COV monoclonal antibody infusion clinic last Tuesday,” said Megan Morris, director of community affairs and public relations for MMC.
“Individuals who are interested in receiving an infusion should contact their primary care provider to determine if they are a candidate and to obtain a physician’s order for the treatment,” said Morris.
According to the FDA, “Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful pathogens, such as viruses like SARS-CoV-2.”
As health officials across the country warn of another winter surge of COVID-19 cases, hospitals are gearing up to handle the possible influx of patients to be tested or treated for the coronavirus. Currently, there are 10 COVID patients hospitalized at MMC. MMC has a total of 25 swing beds
“We are glad to be able to offer these new services for our community and surrounding areas,” said MMC CEO Ralph Castillo. “It is our hope that by making testing more accessible we can serve the community more quickly and relieve some of the pressure being placed on our local physicians’ offices as well as laboratory and emergency department personnel.”
As of last week, MMC has conducted 5,100 COVID tests since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to Morris, COVID patients from local areas as well as outside of Morgan County’s immediate area have sought the antibody infusion treatments at MMC’s new REGEN-COV clinic.
“We’ve had great feedback from patients who have received the monoclonal antibody infusion thus far. They are extremely thankful to have been able to receive the treatment locally, and report that they are feeling better following treatment,” said Morris. “Our clinic staff reports having received calls from patients as far as one to two hours away as they’ve been unable to find infusion appointments closer to home.”
MMC’s drive-thru testing clinic is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Test results are expected within 24 hours. There is no appointment or physician’s referral necessary to get tested. For the REGEN-COV clinic, appointments are required and can be made daily, Monday through Friday.
“We do ask that individuals pre-register to minimize the amount of time that they must spend on site,” urged Morris. Pre-registration can be completed by visiting the MMC’s website at: www.morganmedical.org/covidtests or calling (844) 778-2455. MMC is located at 1740 Lions Club Road in Madison, Georgia.