FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, Aug. 30, 2021
SAN DIEGO – Keeping the health and safety of all San Diegans at the forefront, Mayor Todd Gloria announced the first Monoclonal Antibody Regional Center (MARC) in San Diego County to provide on-site COVID-19 testing, treatment for COVID-19 and post-exposure prophylaxis at no cost for anyone who is medically eligible, regardless of health insurance or immigration status. This announcement was made today alongside County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher, County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten, Council President Jennifer Campbell and Councilmember Chris Cate.
“This site is incredibly important for our city, county and region,” Mayor Gloria said. “While vaccinations are the main weapon in the fight against COVID-19, providing early antibody treatment alongside testing will ensure that those who do test positive receive immediate care. This site is crucial in the fight against COVID-19, relieving the burden on local hospitals and benefiting nearby schools that rely on regular testing to remain open.”
MARC sites provide early antibody treatment for COVID-19 patients that can help them fight the illness without having to go to the hospital. This life-saving treatment has been authorized for emergency use by the FDA to treat persons with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19. Post-exposure prophylaxis is a preventive treatment started after exposure to prevent illness. Please note that monoclonal antibodies are not a replacement for vaccination.
“Monoclonal antibodies are a good reason to trust science. Since February, more than 1,600 people have received monoclonal antibody treatment at seven treatment centers the County of San Diego has opened,” said Nathan Fletcher, Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “This new treatment center will save more lives from COVID-19 and is another example of how Mayor Gloria is committed to the City and County working together to take actions that meet the needs of our communities.”
The site is located at the Cathy Hopper Clairemont Friendship Center at 4425 Bannock Avenue and is anticipated to open next week to provide treatment to all medically eligible individuals regardless of their health insurance or immigration status. Onsite testing will be provided soon after.
“The Monoclonal Antibody Regional Centers, or MARCs, are a new model of collaboration to provide COVID-19 treatment,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “While not a replacement for vaccination, this no-cost procedure can reduce the risk of COVID-19-related hospital visits and help those sick with the virus feel better faster.”
Other MARC sites are available in Escondido, at Vista Community Clinic and through Family Health Centers of San Diego in Hillcrest and Chula Vista. For more information about MARC sites in the County, click here or call 619-685-2500.
“Prevention by vaccination is the best way to protect our community from COVID-19,” said Council President Jennifer Campbell. “However, if you are infected with COVID-19, the monoclonal antibody treatment saves lives and reduces suffering. This new center will give our neighbors convenient access to this treatment.”
“Having the Cathy Hopper Friendship Center now serve temporarily as a Monoclonal Antibody Regional Center truly shows how we as a city are able to partner, evolve and meet the needs of our residents,” said Councilmember Cate, representative for the 6th Council District.