COVID-19 Treatment Options
If you test positive for COVID-19, and especially if you are more likely to get very sick from the virus, treatments are available that can reduce your chances of being hospitalized or dying from the disease. Medications to treat COVID-19 must be prescribed by a healthcare provider and started as soon as possible after diagnosis to be effective. Contact a healthcare provider right away (see below for all options) to determine if you are eligible for treatment, even if your symptoms are mild right now.
Don’t delay: The earlier you start treatment, the sooner it begins working for you. Some treatment must be started within 5 days of when you first develop symptoms to be effective.
People who are more likely to get very sick include older adults (ages 50 years or more, with risk increasing with age), people who are unvaccinated, and people with certain medical conditions, such as chronic lung disease, heart disease, or a weakened immune system. Being vaccinated makes you much less likely to get very sick. Still, some vaccinated people, especially those ages 65 years or older or who have other risk factors for severe disease, may benefit from treatment if they get COVID-19. A healthcare provider will help decide which treatment, if any, is right for you. Check with the healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are taking other medications to make sure the COVID-19 treatments can be safely taken at the same time.
Treatments will remain available
Medication to prevent severe COVID-19, such as Paxlovid, will remain available for free while supplies last. After that, the price will be determined by the medication manufacturer and your health insurance coverage. Check with your health care provider if you need early treatment to prevent severe COVID-19.
COVID-19 treatments are safe and effective. These medications, authorized by the FDA, can lower the amount of virus in your body and can prevent you from getting very sick or needing to be in the hospital.
There are two kinds of treatments:
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A. Oral Treatments – Two medications are pills that can be taken by mouth called oral Antiviral drugs. Oral antiviral therapies are authorized by the FDA for treatment of COVID-19. They require a prescription by a licensed provider. These medications must be taken within 5 days of symptom start.
- Nirmatrelvir with Ritonavir (Paxlovid)
- For those 12 years of age and older
- Medical Provider Screening Checklist
- Molnupiravir (Lagevrio)
- For adults only
* Note: eligibility criteria for each oral treatment set by FDA in the antivirals’ Emergency Use Authorizations
B. IV infusions – One medication requires Intravenous (IV) infusions at a health care facility for 3 consecutive days
- Remdesivir (Veklury)
- For adults and children
(Note: These infusions must start within 7 days of symptom start.)
Your doctor will provide the best recommendation for you based on your symptoms, health history, and overall risk of getting a severe COVID-19 infection.
Test to Treat Program
Test-to-treat locations are designed to be a “one-stop shop” for individuals seeking diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 within five (5) days of showing symptoms.
How does the test-to-treat program work?
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19, locate a test-to-treat site in Delaware on this page of our web site and follow the facility’s directions for scheduling an appointment or for walk-up patients (where permitted).
- Once at the site, you will receive a rapid COVID-19 test.
- If the test is positive for COVID-19, you will meet with an on-site health care provider to discuss treatment options. There are clinical/medical eligibility criteria for these medications set by the FDA. A positive test alone does not guarantee treatment. You will need to discuss your situation with a provider to determine if you meet the requirements.
- If you and the health care provider determine one of the available treatments is best for you, you will receive the medication to take home or a prescription which can be filled at your pharmacy.
- Newark Urgent Care, 324 E. Main Street, Newark – Newark Urgent Care will accept both walk-in patients and patients who make an appointment online (https://newarkurgentcare.org/). Making an online appointment reduces wait times. The facility is open 24 hours a day and anyone who comes in will be evaluated and offered the test-to-treat program if they meet the criteria.
- Atracare, 18068 Coastal Highway, Lewes – Atracare requests that patients make an appointment online (www.atracare.com) or via text message at 302-517-1385. The facility is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily and anyone who schedules an appointment will be evaluated and offered the program if they meet the criteria.
- Henrietta Johnson Medical Center in Wilmington, and all Westside Family Healthcare locations (NcCo, Kent, and Sussex) are offering the program to their current patients only at this time. If you are a patient of either facility and would like information about how to participate in the program, please contact the facility directly.
What are monoclonal antibodies?
Monoclonal antibodies (mAB) are laboratory-made proteins that help fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Although mAB treatment is not a cure, it may lessen the severity of symptoms and help keep high-risk patients out of the hospital.
Treatments vary depending on whether they are administered as part of Pre-Exposure Prophylactics (PrEP) or Post-Exposure Prophylactics (PEP), though currently there are no approved therapies for PEP.
Some immunocompromised individuals who have no known exposure to COVID-19 or with a negative COVID-19 test may have previously received pre-exposure treatment. Currently, there are no authorized pre-exposure treatments available in the United States.
There are currently no approved therapies for post-exposure prophylaxis. Speak with your provider for the latest information.
People who received SARS-CoV-2 antibody-based products
People who previously received antibody products (anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma) as part of COVID-19 treatment, post-exposure prophylaxis, or pre-exposure prophylaxis can be vaccinated at any time; COVID-19 vaccination does not need to be delayed following receipt of monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma. Although some reduction in vaccine-induced antibody titers was observed in people who previously received antibody products, the clinical significance of this reduction is unknown, and the balance of benefits vs. risks favors proceeding with vaccination even considering the possibility of diminished vaccine effectiveness in this situation. Those who received antibody products due to a recent SARS-CoV-2 infection should follow the guidance in the section above.
- COVID-19 treatment guidelines
- Additional information on treatment options for COVID-19 from CDC
- FAQ on COVID-19 drug treatments from FDA
Stats on COVID-19
For more data on Delaware COVID-19 cases including demographic breakdowns, go to My Healthy Community