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

Message from CEO and Chief Medical Officer

Jan 6, 2022, 08:20 AM

Dear Valued Patients,

I had hoped that my first letter of 2022 would include a brighter outlook about the pandemic, but that news appears to be delayed due to a stark increase in local cases of COVID-19, connected to the rise of the extremely contagious Omicron variant. We are closely watching this latest surge, which is resulting in extremely high call volumes and unprecedented requests for Primary Care appointments, Urgent Care visits, and testing for the virus. Like many clinics and businesses around the nation, we are managing pandemic-related staffing shortages, but we are working hard to make adjustments. We are truly appreciative of your patience during this challenging time.

We’ve tried, throughout the pandemic, to share what is happening very locally, as there is regional and national data widely available. At Sansum Clinic, we are seeing levels of COVID-19 activity that we have not seen. As an example, yesterday we did 511 COVID-19 tests with a positivity rate of 52%. That is many times the typical volume of tests and a positivity rate that is more than 10 fold what we were seeing weeks ago. That amount of testing, while we continue to also see patients is not sustainable for us, so we will likely have to set some limits on the amount of testing we can do. That positivity rate points to the wide spread amount of virus in the community.

With that somber background, I’ve tried here to address the topics on which we’ve heard you need more information, like when and where to get COVID-19 tests, how to handle exposures and positive test results, along with other important updates on vaccines, telehealth and urgent care. We hope this will help you and your loved ones better navigate this new wave of COVID-19. Your health and safety is our top priority, and we want to reassure you that all of our Sansum Clinic and Ridley-Tree Cancer Center locations are following strict COVID-19 safety precautions to protect our patients. Please do not delay the care you need – your good health depends on it.

Taking into account CDC, CDPH and local Public Health advisories, and knowing what we are seeing, we offer some suggestions.

Our Observations & Recommendations

Here is a helpful summary of how to handle these common COVID-19 situations. Importantly these are suggestions and your situation may mean that you should consult with your health care provider to discuss your circumstances.

If You Need a COVID-19 Test Due to Symptoms

You should get tested following the first signs of symptoms.

  • If you have access to an at-home antigen test, take it.
    • If you receive a positive result, there is no need to confirm this result with a PCR test. Antigen tests are quite specific (meaning few false positives) and with so much COVID around, a positive result is very likely to be a true positive.
  • If you don’t have an at-home antigen test, contact your primary care provider via MyChart or phone call and they will assist with scheduling a test for you.
  • If you cannot wait, you can go to Urgent Care located at 215 Pesetas Lane where you will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis or visit another local testing site:

If You Test Positive for COVID-19

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status: ISOLATE

  • Stay home for at least 5 days. Rest, drink fluids, take over the counter medication for fever and symptom management.
  • If you have no symptoms after 5 days, you can leave your house but you must continue to wear a mask around others at all times for 5 additional days.
  • If you have a fever, or have continued symptoms after 5 days, continue to stay home until your fever or other symptoms resolve.
  • If you have any alarming symptoms, like shortness of breath, go to the nearest emergency room.

Please note, as a health care facility with sick/immunocompromised individuals, we ask that patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not come to Sansum Clinic any sooner than 10 days following the completion of their isolation period. If your symptoms like cough, fever or shortness of breath are getting worse, please contact your primary care provider or go to the nearest emergency room. If you have an appointment scheduled during the time of your isolation period, please see if your appointment can be rescheduled or handled via telehealth, or rescheduled until at least 10 days post isolation. If you are unsure whether you should come to the clinic for an appointment after testing positive for COVID, please contact your provider’s office for further recommendations.

If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19

If you have been boosted OR have completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months, OR completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months, or have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 90 days – YOU DO NOT NEED TO QUARANTINE, BUT you do need to:

  • Wear a well- fitting mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible (unless you had a confirmed case of COVID in the past 90 days, in which case you do not need to get tested).
  • If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home.

If you completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted OR completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted, OR are unvaccinated – YOU NEED TO QUARANTINE:

  • Stay home for at least 5 days.
  • If you still feel well, test on day 5 if possible. After that, if you are negative, continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • If you develop symptoms, get tested, and quarantine until results are back and you meet the time frames above.
  • If you can’t quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days.
  • Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask, such as restaurants and some gyms, and avoid eating around others at home and at work until after 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19.

Telehealth Appointments

Our physicians and providers are flexible and can provide Telehealth appointments when needed. If you have a scheduled appointment and you prefer a telephone or video call, please send a MyChart appointment request and then respond to your appointment reminder text message, or call your provider to change your appointment to Telehealth. Please note that not all visits can or should be handled through Telehealth. The provider and staff will work together to determine whether an appointment should proceed in-person or move to Telehealth.

COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster Update

As of January 5th, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control/Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American Academy of Pediatrics have announced the following updates:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech booster doses are now authorized for children ages 12 through 15 years, at least 5 months after completing the primary Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine series.
  • The time between the end of primary Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine series and the booster has been shortened to at least five months for anyone 12 years of age and older.
  • A third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now authorized for certain immunocompromised children ages 5 through 11 years of age.

Families can schedule vaccine appointments for children at our Pediatrics Department on MyChart. For additional information on COVID-19 vaccine and booster eligibility and appointments, visit or call (805) 681-7805.

Pediatrics Symptom Checker

Our Pediatrics Department has just launched a new Online Symptom Checker to help parents decide when to call their pediatrician if their child is not feeling well, or has a minor injury. This self-assessment tool is not a substitute for professional medical advice, but it is a resource vetted by our physicians to ensure access to trusted online information. Available in English and Spanish, the Symptom Checker also provides dosage tables for common medications, first aid instructions and valuable parent advice on dozens of topics.

Click here to access the Symptom Checker.

Wait Times at Pesetas Urgent Care

Our Urgent Care is currently experiencing the highest demand for COVID-19 testing and walk-up appointments in the 2-year history of the pandemic. We are working hard to meet this challenge. We know your time is valuable, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. In order to improve your experience with us, here are some tips for using our Urgent Care:

  • If you are having a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the hospital.
  • If you have a Sansum Clinic primary care provider and need to speak with a nurse or have an urgent issue, we recommend you call your primary care provider and they will provide guidance, schedule an appointment or direct you to Urgent Care, if needed.
  • If you are in need of urgent or after-hours care and cannot wait for a call to be returned, go to Pesetas Urgent Care located at 215 Pesetas Lane. There are other Urgent Cares in the community as well. Walk-up appointments are available from 8:00 am – 7:00 pm.
  • Due to the large volume of people requesting COVID-19 testing we wanted to share the following:
    • It is not necessary or advisable to get a PCR test if your home antigen test was positive. I stated this above, but it is worth repeating. You should isolate as indicated above and you should reach out to your provider for further guidance.
    • Retesting with a PCR test within 90 days of a positive test is not advisable as the test may remain positive as a result of the initial infection for a period of weeks/months without the individual being infectious.
    • We are not testing people who require a negative PCR test to return to work, nor those who have been exposed within 24 hours.

This is really not like the previous surges, in terms of the volume of positive cases. Along with other health care providers, our staff is working very hard to handle this unprecedented surge. At the same time, we are having doctors, nurses and others who make things work have their own / their family battles with COVID, so please be understanding.

I do need to give a shout out to our Urgent Care staff. I have not met more dedicated nurses and doctors who somehow just do what needs to be done at levels that are truly inspiring. On a brighter note, many of us think that when this surge is over, the levels of immunity will be higher, though many will have earned that the hard way, and that may provide some future relief from this insufferable pandemic.

We hope this information will help you and your families navigate this latest wave of COVID-19. Thank you for choosing Sansum Clinic for your care. While this is not all good news, we still wish you a Happy New Year, and we are still smiling (but barely) under our masks.


Kurt Ransohoff, MD, FACP

CEO and Chief Medical Officer