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COVID Health Minute January 27, 2022

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These are the latest coronavirus news for this week. From WGCU, I’m Tiffany Pulido.

As of Wednesday, NCH reports that the positivity rate in Collier County is at approximately 32%. The healthcare system is treating 139 patients positive with COVID-19. 15 of those patients are in critical care, eight are on a ventilator, and one is a pediatric patient.

As of Tuesday, Lee Health is isolating 301 COVID-19 patients. 4 are being treated at Golisano’s Children’s Hospital. The hospital’s staffed operational bed capacity is at 94% full.

The Florida Department of Health announced that Monoclonal Antibody Treatment sites have been shut down by the FDA until further notice since Monday.

The FDA removed the emergency use authorization from two MAB treatments: Regeneron and Eli Lilly. They said the treatments weren't effective against the symptoms caused by the omicron variant.

Those who’ve scheduled appointments will be contacted to have them canceled. The DOH stated in Monday’s press release that Florida does not agree with the blockage of any available treatments in the absence of clinical evidence.

In the upcoming week, Healthcare Network will be providing free COVID-19 testing at the Immokalee Community Park from 2-6 pm on January 28th.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health continues to provide free COVID tests from 9a m to 12pm on Sundays adding this Tuesday, February 1st from 2-5 pm at their Immokalee office on 419 North First St.

Only PCR testing is available on a first-come and first-served basis. Everyone is required to wear a mask. The DOH will also offer free COVID vaccines from Monday through Thursday next week from 9 am-4 pm. Vaccines available are J & J, Moderna, and Pfizer. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

The Healthcare Network is also partnering with Golisano’s Children’s Hospital to hold a Vaccine Event for adults and kids older than 5 years old from 2-6 pm on January 31st at Immokalee Community Park 321 North 1st Street.

The Biden administration plans to ship 400 million N95 masks across the nation. The Fort Myers News-Press reports that the administration will be using the federal programs that distribute vaccines to local pharmacies and clinics to provide the N95 masks. The Health Resources and Services Administration said the program would provide free masks to 100-200 health centers by the end of January, but the program should officially kick off by early February. Masks will be limited to 3 per person to ensure board access to the program.

With the omicron variant spreading more quickly than previous variants, the N95 and KN95 are now considered to be the most effective filtering out air particles above cloth masks and even surgical masks.

These have been the latest coronavirus news for this week from WGCU.