HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — There’s a glimmer of hope for those fighting COVID-19 in western Maryland.

“We hear from people they feel better in hours, if not just a day,” Maulik Joshi, President & CEO of Meritus Health, said.

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An infusion of COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies is being offered to patients at Meritus Health in Hagerstown.

“It’s not a cure, but it’s an incredible therapy,” Joshi said.

Joshi said less than 4% of patients who received the therapy had to be hospitalized.

“With more than 800 down, which is more than 20% of all infusions done in the State of Maryland, we’re thrilled to be able to provide this close to home for our population,” he said.

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“From November on, we were close to 100 patients every day in our hospital with COVID-19,” Joshi added. “Almost a positivity rate of close to 20%.”

Those numbers have improved in January and February, but that doesn’t make the treatment less important.

“Preventing hospitalization is saving lives with COVID 19, and that’s what we’re trying to do with this therapy,” Joshi said.

The treatment is being offered to those who are COVID positive and at risk for developing severe symptoms.

Patients do need a referral by their doctor.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Sean Streicher