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Innovative Care to Offer Monoclonal Antibody Treatment to COVID Positive Patients

Monoclonal Antibody Treatment

Regen-COV infusion may lessen severity of virus and reduce the risk of complications for high-risk patients

COVID-19 can be serious, even life-threatening. If you test positive for COVID-19, and have symptoms, seeking monoclonal antibody treatment within the first 10 days may help you fight the virus and avoid serious complications and even death. Monoclonal antibody treatment is intended for people who are at a high risk of serious illness. Innovative Care will begin offering monoclonal antibody treatment to patients. 

Monoclonal antibodies are produced in a laboratory. They serve as substitute antibodies that help our immune systems mimic the defense of natural COVID-19 antibodies. Innovative Care uses the monoclonal antibody Regen-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab, administered together, made by Regeneron) to treat COVID positive patients. This treatment received FDA EUA approval in November, yet it is not widely available. Innovative Care is committed to fighting COVID and proud to offer a treatment for those who are fighting the virus. More information on Regen-COV can be found here. Insurance is accepted for this treatment. 

“We have been here to test and treat patients since the start of the pandemic. This is a natural progression for us to continue serving our community with COVID testing and care,” said Rahul Khare, MD, CEO and founder of Innovative Care. “Monoclonal antibodies attach to the spike protein and may aid your immune system as it works to fight the virus.”

Innovative Care will treat patients who qualify at their dedicated COVID clinic. Each visit begins with a provider consultation. If the patient opts to receive treatment, Regen-COV will be administered during the same appointment. The total infusion time is 20 minutes. Patients may also choose to forgo treatment. More information about what to expect can be found online here.  

Insurance Accepted

Innovative COVID accepts most major insurance plans, and 99 percent of people who get this treatment will not get a bill or pay for monoclonal antibody treatment. If the bill is not covered by insurance, there are funds to get this covered. By this mechanism, patients will not pay anything out of pocket for this treatment. If you do not have any medical insurance, your treatment will be covered under the federal CARES Act. 

More Information

Innovative Care has operated a COVID testing site for nearly 18 months. They are a leader in COVID testing and were among the first in Chicago to offer COVID antibody testing. Innovative Care also offers COVID vaccines at their Downers Grove clinic. For more information, visit Innovative Care online

Concert Goers Who Are Sneezing, Sniffling, Coughing or have a Sore Throat, Should Get Tested for COVID

It’s early in the week, but we are already seeing Lolla concert goers coming in with a sore throat, coughs and sniffles. Does this mean they caught COVID? No, but it does mean that they should be tested for the virus. 

Assume you have been exposed

Events the size of Lollapalooza almost guarantee you have been exposed to COVID. If you are vaccinated, you have a chance of avoiding illness, but please know that breakthrough infections are happening at a high rate. The tricky part is this…people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 typically have only minor symptoms. Oftentimes, these are symptoms that wouldn’t even raise a red flag. The biggest finding from the recent CDC report is that vaccinated people can get COVID-19 AND they are still highly contagious! That’s why we recommend that people be tested if they have any symptom out of the ordinary, even if they are vaccinated. 

Living with COVID

The Delta variant is the dominant strain of COVID going around right now. It is highly contagious, so identifying it as the cause of symptoms early is key to stopping it from spreading. Innovative Care offers COVID testing seven days a week at our Lincoln Park clinic. We also have a COVID testing site in Downers Grove

The best protection against COVID-19 is to increase the number of people who are vaccinated. This virus is not going away, and it will continue to mutate along the way. We must learn to live with COVID, which means 1) get vaccinated 2) test if you have symptoms and 3) do your part to protect others, i.e. mask up when warranted. 

Vaccines Available in Downers Grove

If you have not yet been vaccinated, know that it offers your best protection against COVID. Schedule a vaccine appointment online at our Downers Grove clinic. This clinic also offers COVID testing.

COVID Cases Climbing at Innovative Care Testing Center

A sudden spike in COVID-19 test positivity rates suggests the virus is making its way back into our community. Innovative COVID, our testing site located at 1111 W. Diversey Parkway, is seeing an average positivity rate of around 5% this week to date. Just two weeks ago, the positivity rate at our clinic was holding steady at around 0.5 to 1%. 

This is a dramatic increase in positivity rate. Right on the heels of Lollapalooza and the city opening up. If you haven’t already, you’re going to be hearing about someone you know getting COVID even after getting the vaccine. Let’s figure out what this means.

Who is at Risk?

Unvaccinated individuals are at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19, period. If you are eligible to get vaccinated, please do so. This is our best defense against COVID. Vaccinated individuals are not 100 percent protected from the virus, but they have a far lower risk of serious illness. Vaccination offers a significant level of protection to the individual. It also helps protect others around you. 

What is the Delta Variant? 

The CDC is watching new strains closely, as variants of the virus have the potential to spark new waves of illness. One variant in particular that is on the CDC watch list is the Delta strain (B.1.617.2). This mutation of COVID-19 was first detected in India in February 2021. This strain of COVID-19 is active in the United States and should be taken seriously. Early data has shown that if you have been vaccinated, the strain most likely will not affect you. Unvaccinated individuals are at the greatest risk. That said, breakthrough infections (COVID-19 in people who are vaccinated) do happen. The good news is this…if you’ve been vaccinated, you will have a lighter, more mild case of the virus. The flu vaccine works very much the same way. Getting the flu vaccine does not mean you can’t catch the flu. It does however mean that if you do catch it, your case will be more mild due to the fact that you have some level of protection. I strongly recommend that anyone who is eligible be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Who should be tested for COVID-19?
  • Anyone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should be tested, whether they are vaccinated or not
  • Unvaccinated individuals who have had a known exposure to the COVID-19 virus should be tested 5-7 days after that exposure, even if they do not have symptoms. 
If I’m vaccinated and get exposed, do I really need to get tested?

This is a tricky one. Here’s the issue, the Delta strain is extremely contagious. As we are seeing at Innovative Care, the vaccine does not fully protect you from getting COVID-19 again. You’ve probably seen news stories about this, but what the media does not mention enough is this: If you have received a vaccine, the risk of you being hospitalized due to COVID-19 illness is very low

Which means: vaccinated people can get COVID-19 despite being vaccinated, however, their illness is extremely mild. But here’s the other tricky part, these people with mild symptoms who are positive for COVID-19 are still contagious. There are children and unvaccinated individuals who are still susceptible to getting very sick, or may even die, from a COVID-19 illness. This means that if you are exposed to COVID-19, and will be with people who are vulnerable (unvaccinated or have significant comorbidities), you should get tested.

Catching COVID-19 cases early allows us to isolate and stop the virus from spreading to others. Innovative Care offers COVID-19 testing seven days a week at our Diversey clinic. Appointments are recommended, but not required. Walk-ins are welcome. 

Will we see another shutdown?

While we certainly hope not, it is possible that we will see restrictions be put back in place. Numerous countries are struggling with a resurgence of COVID-19. Mask requirements, and if needed, restrictions play an important role in protecting those most vulnerable. Our priority remains to get as many people vaccinated as possible so we can continue to keep businesses open and events happening. 

Avoid COVID Fatigue

After 16 plus months of COVID-19 talk, it’s normal to be “over it” and want to move on. Let’s face it…everyone wishes this was all just a bad dream. Sadly, it’s not, and it will take effort from all of us to get rid of COVID-19 in our community. Our team has been here since day one, and we will continue to serve our community through virus testing and care. I ask that you do your part as well. Get vaccinated. Get tested if you are symptomatic and take isolation guidelines seriously if you are unvaccinated and exposed to the virus. If we all continue to do our part, we will continue to enjoy dinners out, baseball games, concerts and more. Hang in there, Chicago!

Easy Lolla Testing at Innovative Care

Lolla COVID Testing

If you are planning to party at Lollapalooza, you will need proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result (within 72 hours) to enter the music festival. Innovative Care offers hundreds of testing appointments daily, at two city locations, to get you ready to rock. Here’s what you should know: 

Test before the Fest

Lollapalooza will require proof of a negative COVID test from anyone who is unvaccinated. Your rapid COVID test must be performed within 72 hours of your entry to the music festival.

Easy Access to Fast Results

Innovative Care has two clinics to serve Lolla festival goers. Innovative COVID accepts insurance (or you can self-pay). COVID of Chicago is self-pay only. Both clinics offer a discounted Lolla testing rate for rapid COVID tests.

Innovative COVID – 1111 W. Diversey Parkway

  • Insurance is accepted. If you have a plan we do not accept, you will pay a discounted $100 Lolla rate for your rapid test (show us your wristband for this rate). This occurs rarely since we accept most major insurance plans (less than 1 in 100 people self-pay). 
  • If you have NO medical insurance, we will test you for FREE using the CARES Act 
  • Easy drive-thru testing
  • Results in 15-30 minutes via email, or wait on-site and take your printed documentation with you.  

COVID of Chicago – 1240 N Halsted

  • Self-pay only. We do not accept insurance at this location. 
  • $100 Lolla rate (show us your wristband for the discounted rate)
  • Results in 15-30 minutes via email, or wait on-site and take your printed documentation with you.  
Keep Rockin’

Proof of vaccination is likely to become commonplace for entry into events. Virus strains, such as the Delta variant, are continuing to fuel COVID-19. If you have not been vaccinated, please do so to help curb this pandemic. The vaccines being offered in the United States are effective against the Delta variant strain and offer our best protection. Until more people are vaccinated, the virus will continue to alter our lives. Keep rocking and avoid the need to test prior to events by getting vaccinated

STIs on the Rise as Chicagoans Take Dating Offline

STIs Chicago

COVID-19 put a damper on dating in 2020, but now that restrictions have been lifted, Chicagoans are taking their dates offline and hopping back into the dating scene. Based on anecdotal evidence and a review of our recent provider visits, it appears they are hopping back into bed, too! 

Innovative Express Care has seen a sharp increase in the number of visits related to Sexually Transmitted Infections in the last month (at least 50 percent more than what we saw six months ago). It’s going to be a hot summer in Chicago, so be sure to protect your sexual health. Our providers have some tips:

Safety First

You don’t go out in the rain without a raincoat, so don’t go out to the club without one either. 

Be Proactive About Your Sexual Health 

Many STIs do not cause symptoms. Be proactive and screen for STIs regularly rather than only asking your provider about testing if you have symptoms. A general rule of thumb on STI testing frequency is this – get tested every time you change partners. 

Swipe Right Frequently? 

If you are free as a bird, sewing your oats and having fun with multiple partners, plan on STI testing every 3-6 months. Innovative Express Care offers an array of testing options and we are open seven days a week. 

Get the HPV vaccine

People up to age 45 can be vaccinated against HPV. If you have ever been sexually active and have not been vaccinated against the HPV virus, we urge you to get vaccinated. The HPV vaccine protects against the main strains of HPV, which have been known to cause cancer. Innovative Express Care carries the HPV vaccine and we can easily vaccinate you during your next appointment

What to Test For?

We see chlamydia and gonorrhea most frequently at Innovative Express Care. Both of these STIs may be present without symptoms, which makes being proactive about your sexual health extremely important. HPV is also extremely common, but testing for this STI is typically done during a well woman exam when you are having a pap smear. There is not a good HPV test for men, so this STI is most commonly detected in women. 

Schedule Testing

STI testing ranges from $175-250 for self-pay patients. We also accept insurance. Appointments are easy to schedule online at Innovative Express Care.  

 

Innovative Vaccinates Eligible Employees at Area Businesses

A successful return to the workplace means COVID precautions, or better yet, vaccines. Many local businesses have worked with Innovative Express Care during the pandemic to offer COVID-19 testing for employees and to consult on best practices to stop virus spread. Those same businesses are now lining up for the next phase to ensure a healthy workplace, vaccines. 

Innovative Express Care has worked with more than 100 businesses over the last six months. Companies both large and small have recognized that COVID-19 prevention strategies, such as regular testing of employees, can be the key to staying open. Innovative Express Care has a dedicated mobile team for occupational health at area businesses. That team is now beginning to administer vaccines to businesses who have eligible employees. 

Innovative Express Care recently vaccinated more than 100 employees at a factory in Schiller Park.

For more information, or to arrange workplace COVID-19 testing or a vaccine clinic at your business, please complete our online form

 

Dr. Khare on WGN: COVID Vaccine Availability

We know the vaccine waiting game can be frustrating. Clinics wait for doses, as patients wait for appointments. Dr. Khare explained how we are doing everything we can to increase vaccine availability for people in group 1b on WGN TV.

The short answer? Persistence is key. We can only book appointments a few days out, as we must first guarantee we’ll have doses available for patients. Those in group 1b, which include older adults age 65+ and essential front line workers (police, fire, teachers, etc.) should check our website and others often to look for appointment availability which can change daily.

Innovative Wellness and Innovative Express Care Make Chicago’s “Best Of” List

We did it!

Thanks to your nominations, Innovative Wellness and Innovative Express Care have made the Chicago Reader’s “Best Of” list in two categories: Best Clinic to get your Medical Card and Best Local CBD Source.

Vote online today!

Our team is proud to help patients who qualify for medical cannabis and guide them as they pursue improved health and symptom relief. Now that we made the list of finalists, we need your help one last time to bring this honor home. Please visit the Chicago Reader online to cast your vote for Innovative Express Care and Innovative Wellness in these two categories. 

Best Clinic to get your Medical Card
Best Local CBD Source

Innovative Wellness has developed cannabis regimen protocols for numerous conditions, including Crohn’s Disease, IBS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, PTSD, Cancer, Migraines and more. Our team will help you determine what strains are best suited for your unique symptoms and help you incorporate cannabis into your treatment plan. 

If you or someone you know is interested in exploring medical cannabis, contact us today

Spread the word and cast your vote today. Thanks for your support.

Will we see a surge in COVID-19 cases following Thanksgiving?

The thanksgiving holiday looked different for many people this year, as they enjoyed more intimate dinners than in years past. Still, any gathering poses a potential risk when it comes to COVID-19. Dr. Khare spoke with ABC 7 on Sunday to explain why he expects to see a surge in virus cases in the weeks following the Thanksgiving holiday. Innovative Express Care test more than 2,000 patients every day and expects the high demand for testing to continue throughout the holiday season.

View the story here.