Department of Public Health Reminds Residents of Availability of COVID-19 Treatments for Positive Higher-Risk Individuals
BOSTON (February 23, 2022) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today reminded residents that free treatment options are available that can be used to prevent severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. Several treatments, including monoclonal antibody infusions and oral therapeutics, are widely available across the Commonwealth.
Treatment is available for people who are at increased risk of severe disease, test positive for COVID-19 and have any symptoms, even mild ones (such as runny nose or cough).
Residents who think they may be eligible and have questions on if treatment is right for them should contact their medical provider or call the COVID-19 Self-Referral Treatment Line operated by Gothams. The Gothams call line is a free resource that can help refer individuals to sites for monoclonal antibody treatments.
These treatment options have been authorized by the FDA for the treatment of COVID-19 in individuals ages 12 and over who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness.
There are five treatment options in Massachusetts:
Oral Therapeutics (Pills)
- Paxlovid (must be taken within 5 days of your first COVID-19 symptom)
- Molnupiravir (must be taken within 5 days of your first COVID-19 symptom)
Oral therapeutic treatments require a prescription from a healthcare provider.
Monoclonal Antibody Intravenous (IV) and Antiviral Infusion
- Sotrovimab (must be administered within 10 days of your first COVID-19 symptom)
- Remdesivir (must be given within 7 days of your first COVID-19 symptom)
- Bebtelovimab (must be administered within 7 days of your first COVID-19 symptom)
Referrals for monoclonal antibody treatment can be provided by the Gothams call center by calling (508) 213-1380, Monday – Saturday 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., or by an individual’s healthcare provider.
“These therapeutics, including COVID pills and infusions, are potentially lifesaving but for eligible individuals, they need to be administered quickly to be effective,” said Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke. “They can help keep you from getting very sick and out of the hospital. If you test positive for COVID-19 and have any kind of risk factor such as diabetes or high blood pressure or asthma – we encourage you to call your provider or the Gothams phone number immediately to see if the treatment could be right for you. Do not wait to see if your symptoms worsen.”
“Importantly, the new guidance on use of these therapeutics and their increased availability enables essentially all patients who are diagnosed with COVID-19, are experiencing even mild symptoms, and are at an increased risk of severe illness to access proven treatments that can prevent severe disease and save lives,” said Massachusetts Medical Society President Dr. Carole Allen. “Don’t wait. Even if symptoms are mild, please consider these safe and effective treatments to prevent the disease from progressing to a point that may require hospitalization.”
“We are fortunate that there is now an ample supply of therapeutic treatments available widely across the Commonwealth,” said Patricia Noga, Vice President, Clinical Affairs, Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association. “Our healthcare community views these therapeutics as a part of routine COVID care and hospitals are strongly encouraging clinicians to utilize them to the greatest extent possible. MHA and our members are committed to expanding access to these treatments as we navigate our way out of this latest surge.”
Treatments are free and widely available across the Commonwealth. Residents who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 can view treatment locations by visiting the COVID-19 Therapeutic Locator. There are seven state-sponsored locations managed by Gothams in Pittsfield, Holyoke, Athol, Plymouth, Everett, Lowell, and Fall River, in addition to select pharmacies and healthcare settings.
To receive treatment, residents should:
- Contact your doctor. They can help identify the best treatment for you, OR
- Call the Gothams COVID-19 Self-Referral Treatment Line, Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. at (508) 213-1380 to speak to a representative who can help individuals access treatment.
There is capacity within the Commonwealth and those in need are often able to receive same-day appointments.
Visit www.mass.gov/covidtreatments to learn more about the options available to you.
The best protection against severe illness or hospitalization from COVID-19 is vaccination and getting a booster dose. Visit www.mass.gov/covidvaccine to learn more.