Hatzalah of Michigan Logo
(Hatzalah of Michigan)

According to Hatzalah of MI executive board member Nachy Soloff, Hatzalah has continued its work in testing people for coronavirus, thanks to its partnership with the Oakland County Health Department.

Since the resurgence of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in Metro Detroit these past few months, Hatzalah of Michigan has been working with infected community members to ensure they get the proper treatment.

Thankfully, the surge in Michigan has not been severe, particularly for people who have been vaccinated, according to Hatzalah of MI Medical Director Dr. Steve McGraw. “If you’re not vaccinated, the danger increases exponentially,” he said.

Dr. Steve McGraw
Dr. Steve McGraw

According to Hatzalah of MI executive board member Nachy Soloff, Hatzalah has continued its work in testing people for coronavirus, thanks to its partnership with the Oakland County Health Department.

“A lot of people still need to be swabbed,” Soloff said. “When they get a positive result, we’re telling them the next steps they should take.”

That advice sometimes includes monoclonal antibody treatment — lab-made cells that boost the immune system’s ability to fight off COVID, which can reduce the severity and length of illness. Monoclonal antibody treatment (MAB) is especially important for people older than 65 or who have underlying health conditions. Hatzalah has recently instituted a process to help people access this treatment, which can be confusing.

“Being that MAB is a federal resource, there are strict criteria of who is eligible for the treatment,” Soloff said. “People can be ineligible for the treatment if they’re not at high risk or because they are past the time limit in which the treatment can help.”

Hatzalah knows the protocols at local providers such as Ascension Southfield, St. Joe’s in Pontiac, Henry Ford, McLaren Oakland and a local urgent care in Southfield that provides the infusion therapy. Volunteers determine the patient’s eligibility and help him or her navigate the appointment-making process.

Soloff said he has gotten great feedback from those who’ve received the treatment. “Some have said they felt better the next day,” he said. “And the treatment poses very little risk.”

According to Soloff, getting vaccinated is still the best way to safeguard your health. “It won’t necessarily prevent you from getting COVID,” he said. “Many people who are vaccinated are getting it, but they’re not getting it seriously. They’re sick for only a few days.”

Soloff said Hatzalah is now preparing to fight another enemy to health: the flu. “We just ran one flu vaccine clinic this past week and hope to hold another clinic within the next few weeks,” he said. 

People who have tested positive for COVID can email mantibodies@gmail.com. A volunteer from Hatzalah will be in touch.

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