RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina has seen a dramatic increase in the use of an antibody treatment for COVID-19 since late June, the state Department of Health and Human Services said Friday.

For the week of June 23, Monoclonal antibody treatment was administered 100 times.

The number of treatments shot up to 1,874 for the week of Aug. 11, NCDHHS said.

Monoclonal antibody treatment can reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms and decrease the likelihood of hospitalization, especially in high-risk patients.

“Monoclonal antibody therapy is not a substitute for vaccination against COVID-19,” the state health department said.

The therapy must be administered within 10 days of your first COVID-19 symptoms.

The state Department of Health and Human Services on Friday said 3,147 patients were hospitalized — with the increase of 52 the smallest one-day jump of the week — and reported 54 more deaths, the third day in a row with at least 50.

The patient count is its highest since Jan. 28, when there were 3,229 as that number was dropping two weeks after the winter peak.

Hospitalizations topped out at 3,992 patients on Jan. 14. The current total means the state is 79-percent of the way toward matching it.

DHHS also reported 6,631 new cases one day after it surpassed more than 7,000 for the first time since February. The seven-day average remained in excess of 5,000 for the eighth consecutive day.

The deaths brought the total in the state to 14,059.