Coronavirus Information
For a list of Archived messages from CEO and CMO, click here.

Message from CEO and Chief Medical Officer

Aug 11, 2021, 13:48 PM
Dear Patients of Sansum Clinic,

I write to you while observing the same COVID-19 landscape you likely are, feeling a great sense of disappointment that despite finally having enough vaccines to prevent this virus from spreading, I worry that we may have missed the chance to have COVID-19 be a minor player in our lives and in the healthcare landscape.    We have the opposite problem we grappled with about 6 months ago, where droves of patients were calling us to receive a vaccine and supplies were short.  Now, we have plenty of COVID-19 vaccine to distribute, but unvaccinated community members are scheduling their shots at a much slower pace. We may have missed the opportunity for herd immunity, and we are now fighting a different fight.

The Pandemic of the (Mostly) Unvaccinated
The Delta variant, the COVID-19 virus but in a different, mutated form, is currently causing 80% of the infections in the U.S. and is quickly spreading among unvaccinated people. 97% of COVID-19 hospitalizations are in unvaccinated individuals and 99.5% of deaths from the virus are among the unvaccinated. We are seeing more reports of COVID-positive children, something of great concern to pediatricians like our Clinic’s Dr. Dan Brennan who wrote about the Delta variant in a recent Noozhawk column.

People who test positive for the Delta variant have a higher viral load, and can potentially transmit greater amounts of the virus to others. They also are likely infectious sooner and for longer. This is because the Delta variant is twice as contagious as its original form. The four-fold increase in new COVID-19 cases per day in our community over the last month can be attributed to the Delta variant, a disturbing trend for those who have fought on the frontlines of this pandemic and do not wish to return to the fearful days of its beginning.  Without more individuals becoming vaccinated alongside increased protections, we risk turning back the clock. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety
Over 187 million people in our country have received COVID-19 vaccines safely. Many millions more have been vaccinated around the world in a safe manner, the majority only experiencing mild side effects. If you are still on the fence about whether the COVID-19 vaccines are really safe, I invite you to read this COVID-19 Myth Vs. Fact flyer we recently created to help you wade through the ocean of misinformation out there, and hone in on some clear medical truths. Or you can watch this video created by our Medical Director Dr. Marjorie Newman by clicking HERE, which is a compassionate plea for our community to come together to protect each other.
If you or a family member would like to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, please call (805) 681-7805 or you can schedule through MyChart.  Parents and guardians can schedule COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 12 and over by calling our Pediatrics Department at (805) 563-6211.

Breakthrough Infections of COVID-19
A common question my patients ask me, is whether the current vaccines can protect against these virus variants. The answer is yes, they protect against serious forms of the virus, but “breakthrough infections” can still occur. A small percentage of people may still be susceptible, and the virus can find its way to folks who failed to work up a strong immune response when they received their COVID-19 vaccine.  Protecting ourselves and our community as we did at the start of the pandemic, through masking and distancing in the appropriate settings, and trying to avoid crowds, is still the optimal way to turn the tide,  along with more vaccinations. At our clinic, we continue to use all of the COVID-19 safety protocols including masks for everyone and screening at our entrances to keep our patients and our employees safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that in areas with substantial and high transmission, non-vaccinated and fully-vaccinated individuals should wear masks in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of the Delta variant. All of us at Sansum Clinic hope this collective effort on all fronts will make a dent in the COVID-19 case numbers we are seeing.

COVID + Flu – Don’t Spread 2
Thanks to social distancing, masking and minimal travel, there was no influenza epidemic last year, which has never happened in the 30+ years I have been practicing medicine.  The CDC has a weekly updated FLUVIEW map showing the incidence of influenza throughout the country, which normally has a few red spots and gradually week by week as the season progresses, the whole country goes from green, meaning no flu, to red, meaning epidemic influenza.  Last year, the entire country stayed green throughout the flu season, which means tens of thousands of lives were saved.

It is hard to predict what this upcoming cold and flu season has in store for us, but it seems likely that it will be different than most years, so it will be more important than ever to get a flu vaccine.  As in past years, we will be here to provide flu shots. This year, we will offer scheduled appointments outside, to ensure a safe and seamless experience given that we are still in the throes of a pandemic.

Safe Care For Kids
During the pandemic, our Pediatrics Department has shown great creativity and flexibility with new solutions to treat their young patients in the safest manner possible. From an outdoor immunization clinic, to the outdoor screening and waiting area, our staff there has risen to the occasion, and continues to do so. They are now treating patients outside in several, newly-constructed, tented exam rooms located right by their entrance (the back side of the building at 51 Hitchcock Way.) This will ease worries of parents who may prefer to be seen in an outdoor setting, and it will help to limit the spread of typical cold and flu germs.  We also have an outdoor immunization station for COVID-19 vaccines, upcoming flu vaccines or vaccines that are part of your child’s regular course. We are committed to providing the best possible care for our pediatric population.
Healthcare When You Need It
We are constantly honing the excellent care we offer from a customer service mindset, working to incorporate what we learn from our patients. We know quick access to care is high on your list. Our Urgent Care team located at 215 Pesetas Lane is highly-trained in specialties like emergency, internal, family and sports medicine, and are available 7 days a week. Walk-in and same-day appointments are offered, or you can schedule up to 4 weeks in advance through MyChart, or by calling (805) 563-6110.
In addition to testing those who are symptomatic for COVID-19, we also now offer elective, rapid COVID-19 testing at our Urgent Care for people ages 4 and up, so you can safely resume travel, attend sporting or music events, or use it for any reason not related to suspicion of a current, active COVID-19 infection or recent known exposure.  The nasal swab test takes only about 20 minutes to receive a result, costs $100 and is not billable to insurance. Patients need to verify if the Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test is the one required for their specific venue, airline or destination.
Quick Access for New Primary-Care Patients
We want our first connection with new patients to be a positive, warm and welcoming experience, while we gather the information needed to set up their first primary care appointment. This phone number for new primary care patients 805-692-4650 will connect them with a patient representative who has the time and knowledge to work through all the details. If you or anyone you know needs a primary care provider and would like to benefit from the comprehensive healthcare services we offer at Sansum Clinic, the Patient Outreach team at 805-692-4650 stands ready to help.
It may sound cliché’ after the past year to mention the critical moment that is in front of us, but it is true. The actions asked of us are simple ones. No matter how this turns out, our dedication to our patients is unwavering. We do not take for granted your trust in us, nor your choice to rely on us for your healthcare. And of course, we will always be here for you, smiling under our masks.
Kurt Ransohoff, MD, FACP
CEO, CMO Sansum Clinic