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These are featured stories of how the Upper Delta and Mid-South is combating the Coronavirus as well as resources to help those impacted by the pandemic.

St. Bernards opens COVID-19 clinic

St. Bernards Hospital in Jonesboro
Brandon Tabor

St. Bernards Medical Center has opened its new COVID-19 clinic. It will serve as a COVID-19 follow-up clinic and COVID-19 treatment infusion center, as well as its upcoming participation in distributing the COVID-19 vaccine.

The clinic, located on East Matthews Avenue in Jonesboro, will begin its first medication infusions with the monoclonal antibody, Bamlanivimab, which received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Nov. 9. St. Bernards Vice President of HeartCare Center, Cancer Center and Perioperative Services Connie Hill, APRN, said St. Bernards received its first Bamlanivimab doses this week, adding that monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directly neutralize the COVID-19 virus by preventing disease progression.

“Monoclonal antibodies show their greatest effectiveness early in infections,” Hill said. “Our ability to infuse Bamlanivimab in an isolated and safe environment holds particular promise for immunocompromised and vulnerable populations.”

In addition to using Bamlanivimab, St. Bernards touted its participation in the federal government’s EUA program Operation Warp Speed for the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine. Hill said the EUA for the vaccine will come quickly, and St. Bernards stands prepared for its arrival and distribution.

“Since March, healthcare providers across Arkansas have operated at a heightened sense of urgency and safety—all in an effort to protect our communities,” she said. “The upcoming COVID-19 vaccines show great promise, and St. Bernards will ensure our region has access.”

Beyond infusions, the new St. Bernards COVID Clinic will also handle follow-up care for recovering COVID-19 patients discharged from St. Bernards Medical Center. Hill said the clinic represents St. Bernards’ commitment to patients even after they leave the hospital.

“The follow-up clinic will help us monitor patients as they overcome the virus,” she said. “COVID-19 is known to have longer-lasting impacts on some individuals than others. Now, we can more readily help them navigate those effects by extending our ability to care for recovering patients even further.”

The St. Bernards COVID Clinic will not screen or test for COVID-19. Hill said she encouraged patients to continue using the St. Bernards Go web and mobile applications and St. Bernards Urgent Care clinics for virus screening and testing. The clinic will operate Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.