US state Idaho Governor Brad Little has announced the launch of new Covid-19 antibody treatment facilities to relieve the growing burden on the state’s healthcare system.

Three treatment facilities will come up in North Idaho, eastern Idaho, and the Treasure Valley, with additional centres expected to be added later.

Specific information about the exact location will be made available in the coming days for the facilities, which will help preserve hospital bed capacity for the severely ill.

Little said: “We need to reduce the number of Covid-19 hospitalisations so everyone else can continue to access healthcare for strokes, heart attacks, car accidents, and other emergencies.

“Receiving the Covid-19 vaccine is the most effective way to minimise the spread of the disease to the vulnerable.

“In addition, the new Covid-19 antibody treatment centres should help preserve bed capacity by preventing hospitalisation for some people who contract the disease.”

The new antibody treatment facilities are in addition to treatments that are already offered by several private healthcare providers across the state.

Besides, Little is directing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds amounting to $10m to address constraints and emerging needs in Idaho hospitals as well as skilled nursing facilities.

More physical space will be made available using these funds to provide care for Covid-19 patients.

Furthermore, staffing shortages caused by workers getting sick or being exposed to the disease, would be addressed.

Idaho Hospital Association Board of Directors chair Dr Rachel Gonzales said: “All of our hospitals, large and small, are asking more and more of our staff as our Covid hospitalisations continue to increase.

“This additional funding will help us recognise them for their heroic efforts and fill in some of the gaps where we are stretched so thin.”