New mobile lab helping in fight against COVID-19 in Worcester

WORCESTER, Mass. — A brand-new mobile lab funded by Health & Human Services is helping the fight against COVID-19 in Worcester.

More cases have been popping up in central Massachusetts, including the Delta variant.

Dr. Sandeep Jubbal runs the new mobile unit at UMass Memorial Health.

Along with emerging delta variant cases, there has also been cases of vaccinated individuals testing positive for COVID.

“We had identified 5 patients who have been vaccinated and tested positive,” Jubbal said.

The mobile lab is one of seven in the entire country and will provide monoclonal antibody treatments for patients that have tested positive.

“Basically, whenever you are infected, your body generates antibodies. These are like the artificial antibodies that are made which can be given. Patients that have already gotten the infection to prevent them from progressing from severe disease,” Jubbal said.

Each patient spends half an hour in the chair getting the antibody infusion and an hour to be monitored.

“This morning we saw our first patient – we brought her in and infused the antibody and she did fabulous,” said nurse practitioner Nancy Pearlman.

Treatment that, 15 months ago, would have been a game changer and life saver.

“We’re hoping this is one way to stamp it out or at least keep it at bay and keep people (out of) the hospital,” Pearlman said.

The treatment must be administered within ten days of onset of COVID-19 symptoms.