NAPLES, Fla. — Southwest Florida has another treatment option for people suffering from COVID-19.
Today a new monoclonal antibody treatment clinic opened up in Naples on Thursday, the first one in Collier County. This treatment infuses COVID-19 antibodies into patients, and it can prevent severe symptoms in people who get the virus.
The Florida Department of Health called it a “soft opening.” It wasn’t advertised and the clinic wasn’t running at its full capacity.
But the people who were able to get in where thrilled with how well the treatment went.
“I have no complaints,” said Lawrence Dwyer of Cape Coral. “I think they were very efficient.”
Lawrence Dwyer and his wife Melinda drove to the Naples clinic from Cape Coral after they both tested positive.
While some people can wait hours to get tested for COVID-19, this treatment facility had patients in and out in about 90 minutes according to the people FOX4 spoke to.
“Everything went smooth,” Melinda Dwyer said. “We walked right in, registered, fill out our paperwork, and went right back. They gave (the antibodies) to you then you had to wait an hour.”
Lisa Garcia came to the clinic after her daughter tested positive for COVID. Although Garcia hasn’t tested positive, the treatment is available for people who have been exposed.
“I’m hearing all kinds of people saying they’re COVID positive,” said Garcia, a Naples resident. “So they should do something — maybe don’t know about this (clinic). It’s goood they’re doing this.”
This is the only monoclonal antibody clinic in Collier County. There was a clinic in Immokalee last summer, but it closed after demand went down following the Delta surge of COVID-19
The Collier location will be open six days a week, starting tomorrow.
“It will service anywhere from 70 to 80 patients a day, by appointment only, and it’s open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” said Kristine Hollingsworth of the Department of Health-Collier.
There is a similar clinic in Bonita Springs, and a preventative monoclonal antibody site in Fort Myers, according to the Florida Dept of Health website.
Lawrence Dwyer got treatment at the Bonita Springs location on Tuesday. We spoke to him Thursday after his wife got treatment in Naples, and he said he already felt better.
“I would just say take advantage of this,” Dwyer said. “I had it done two days ago and I feel vastly better. It’s definitely worth doing, definitely worth taking the time to do it.”
Anyone looking to make an appointment at any monoclonal antibody clinic can do so online on the Florida Department of Health’s website.