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Sawooth Mountain Clinic included in federal “test to treat” COVID plan
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Sawooth Mountain Clinic included in federal “test to treat” COVID plan

Sawtooth Mountain Clinic in Grand Marais is among a select number of healthcare facilities across the country involved with a new “test to treat” plan to provide free antiviral pills at pharmacies to people who test positive for COVID-19.

Clinic CEO Kate Surbaugh said during a March 22 update on WTIP that a number of local residents have utilized the plan to treat COVID after testing positive for the virus.

The antiviral pills are designed to keep the virus from replicating and are primarily for people who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 complications, according to local, state and national health officials.

In other news related to the pandemic, Surbaugh said local healthcare officials are optimistic after seeing the number of new COVID cases among Cook County residents decline sharply following a spike in new cases to start 2022.

Other topics discussed during the March 22 interview include:

-Sawtooth Mountain Clinic staff were acknowledged by federal reviewers for keeping quality measures high during the two years of the pandemic, Surbaugh told WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs.

-Preventative care visits have fallen off track during the pandemic at local healthcare facilities, Surbaugh said. Most adults should visit with their provider at least yearly, she added.

-COVID-19 vaccinations have moved from the community center to the clinic. You can make an appointment for a vaccination by calling (218) 387-2330, Surbaugh said.

Listen to the audio below to hear the full interview.