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Utah health dept. deploys special strike team to long-term care facilities

Photo: Utah Department of Health

SALT LAKE CITY —  For the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) said it has deployed its monoclonal antibody strike teams.

The teams are made up of two nurses, two medics and other healthcare providers, along with members of the Utah National Guard.

In a tweet, the UDOH said the teams were sent out at the direction of Gov. Spencer Cox.

The team will help boost the COVID-19 fighting efforts at long-term care facilities that are dealing with outbreaks of COVID-19. On Saturday, the UDOH strike team will administer 25 infusions at five long-term care facilities

What are monoclonal antibodies?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), monoclonal antibodies are man-made proteins that “mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses.”

These antibodies specifically target the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 (the scientific name for COVID-19) by preventing the virus from attaching to or entering human cells.

The FDA approved the use of monoclonal antibody therapy in early November 2020. Its use is intended for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adult as well as pediatric patients.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States