‘Test Soon, Treat Early’ Local COVID-19 Initiative Continues 

CDC / Alissa Eckert, MS

MAYVILLE – The New York State Department of Health’s COVID-19 oral antiviral treatments are now available by prescription in Chautauqua County. 

The treatments, local health officials say, is most effective when given soon after symptoms begin to occur, making it very important for persons experiencing symptoms to test early.

“Oral treatment options for COVID-19 are a game changer in the fight against this virus,” said Public Health Director, Christine Schuyler.

Since the treatments are oral antivirals they are taken by mouth and do not require injection of any type. Those that test positive for COVID-19 should discuss treatment options with their health care provider.

“We are excited that there is finally widespread availability of these prescription medications that have the potential to save lives, especially for high-risk, vulnerable, or unvaccinated community members as we continue to battle COVID-19 infections,” Schuyler explained.

Currently, two oral antiviral medications, Paxlovid and Lagevrio (molnupiravir), have  been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). healthcare providers treating those confirmed COVID-positive and have mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms, are recommended to strongly consider prescribing an oral antiviral.

Those who test positive for COVID-19 should contract their primary physicians to see if they meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Age 12 years or older weighing at least 40 kg (88 pounds) for Paxlovid, or 18 years or older for Lagevrio (molnupiravir);
  • Test positive for SARS-CoV-2 on a nucleic acid amplification test or antigen test; results from an FDA-authorized home-test kit should be validated through video or photo but, if not possible, patient attestation is acceptable;
  • Have mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms
  • Patient must not be hospitalized due to severe or critical COVID-19; and
  • Able to start treatment within 5 days of symptom onset.

Retail pharmacies currently report the availability throughout Chautauqua County include; CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart. More locations can be found using the COVID-19 Therapeutics Locator here.

Those with additional questions about COVID-19 treatment options or availability can click here. 


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