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Published on September 23, 2021

‘I Saw the Real Heroes Today’

Gov. Roy Cooper toured the monoclonal antibody infusion center at Wesley Long Hospital on Thursday.

GREENSBORO – Donning personal protective equipment, North Carolina’s governor got a first-hand look inside a Wesley Long clinic that has helped thousands of people in their fight against COVID-19.  

Thursday, Gov. Roy Cooper toured Wesley Long’s 1-West unit, home to the system’s monoclonal antibody infusion center. The monoclonal antibody treatment, administered by IV or shot, has been proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19 hospital stays and emergency room visits by 60 percent through an infusion of lab-engineered antibodies that help fight the virus. 

Cooper toured the infusion center alongside Cone Health CEO Dr. Mary Jo Cagle and COVID-19 Lead Physician Dr. Brent McQuaid, who oversees the unit on Thursday. The tour gave the governor an opportunity to meet the staff who have worked tirelessly to provide this care for months. 

“I saw the real heroes today,” Cooper said to a small audience of Cone Health leaders, elected officials and local media on Thursday. “Those nurses, attendants, the people who are on the front lines, risking their lives, working extra hours, dealing with the frustration. I wore some of the heavy equipment that they wear when they are treating patients, and truly, truly they are doing the Lord’s work here.” 

Cone Health has administered the treatment to more than 3,000 people since it was first offered in November 2020.  

“A bright spot of hope has been our monoclonal antibody infusion center,” said Cagle, as she praised Cone Health staff for their dedication. “That treatment has saved lives, it has prevented hospitalizations.” 

The treatment is for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are at high risk of severe symptoms due to age (65 and older) or chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Talk to your doctor if you think you qualify for the treatment.  

McQuaid highlighted the clinic's emphasis on caring for those in vulnerable communities and said he was proud of his team for their commitment to serving people of all backgrounds. 

“COVID-19 shines a light on and exploits the health care disparities in our society by attacking those most vulnerable,” he said. “This effort is specifically designed to cross those barriers, to seek out those most at risk and bring them in for treatment.”

While the monoclonal antibody treatment has proven to be an effective tool in the fight against COVID-19, Cooper said, it is still important for anyone who has not gotten the vaccine to do so.  

“You are doing the biggest favor, act of kindness, act of love to those health care providers when you get vaccinated,” he said. 

To sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at Cone Health, visit conehealth.com/vaccine

Learn more about the monoclonal antibody infusion clinic at Cone Health and an incredible success story from one of its patients, here