LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) will expand treatment courses of the COVID-19 medication Paxlovid from people over the age of 65 to people 12 to 64 years of age who are positive for COVID-19 and are at higher risk for severe illness.

Last week, SNHD received 120 treatment courses of Paxlovid and was offering it to patients who met the age criteria, had tested positive, and were also symptomatic. Those who can receive the treatment within the expanded age range must also have systems of COVID-19, and those symptoms must have started within the last five days.

Paxlovid is a new oral medication used to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 disease in adults and children over 12 years of age who are at higher risk for progressing to severe illness, including hospitalization and death.

The medication received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA in December 2021.

“Paxlovid can help keep people who are at risk and do get COVID from getting seriously ill out of the hospital,” said Chief Medical Officer for SNHD Dr. Cort Lohff at an SNHD media briefing Wednesday. “We are pleased to be expanding the availability of Paxlovid to our patients and to be making this treatment option more accessible in our community,”

Those taking the treatment must begin taking the medication within five days of when their symptoms began. There are some conditions that might render someone ineligible for the medication treatment. For more information about Paxlovid and those conditions, visit this link.

People who meet the criteria and are interested in testing and screening for treatment eligibility will need to get tested at the Health District’s clinic at its main public health center at 280 S. Decatur Blvd. Appointments are available through this link.

The test positivity rate in Clark County currently stands at 36%. According to a report last week from the Nevada Hospital Association, hospitals are 98% full in Clark County. Health officials continue to emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in indoor public spaces.