Dr. Richard Pan: Steps We Must Take Individually and Collectively to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

December 1, 2020

SACRAMENTO— Thanks to previous efforts, California has not yet experienced overwhelmed hospitals across the state unlike many other states.  However, with the rise of cases since mid-October and increased holiday gatherings, California is projected to exceed ICU capacity by mid to late December.  With this in mind, Dr. Richard Pan, pediatrician, public health advocate, and State Senator representing the Sacramento region and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health calls on Californians to take following steps we can take to slow the spread. 

“I support the Governor’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus in our state.  But the success of these efforts depends on both our individual and collective actions beginning now,” said Dr. Richard Pan, pediatrician and state senator representing the Sacramento region. 

Dr. Richard Pan calls for the following actions:

Individually, we can:

  • Wear a mask whenever and wherever you may be within 6 feet of a person living in another household, especially indoors, but also in crowded outdoors settings.
  • Avoid any gatherings with people that don't live with you, especially for more than 15 minutes maskless with the same people in an enclosed space.
  • If you did gather with family and/or friends from different households for Thanksgiving, you may be infected even if you don't have symptoms. Please stay at home for the next 14 days and consider getting a COVID test next weekend.
  • Get the flu vaccine to prevent getting the flu and COVID.
  • If you are feeling ill, stay at home, and avoid being close to other people in your household. Call your doctor immediately if you become short of breath.

Together, we can:

  • Follow public health guidance from state and county public health officers.
  • Ask our local government leaders and law enforcement enforce the mask mandate and stay at home orders to stop the spread of coronavirus in our community.
  • Expand contact tracing capacity and cooperation with confidential contact tracing to identify sources of infection.
  • Support people and households who are exposed or positive so they can isolate/quarantine for 14 days to prevent further coronavirus transmission.
  • Support local businesses.
  • Obtain personal protective equipment for all essential workers.
  • Request people entering our state to be quarantined in place for 14 days before going about our communities and to be COVID tested.

To reopen schools and restore our economy, we must drastically reduce the number of infected people in the community by taking all of these steps.  Countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan have stopped coronavirus; America can do the same.

Effective COVID vaccines may be approved soon, but California will need to fully vaccinate approximately 30 million people to achieve immunity levels for vaccines to stop spread of the virus.


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Dr. Richard Pan is a parent, small business owner, former UC Davis educator and pediatrician who represents Sacramento, West Sacramento, Elk Grove and unincorporated areas of Sacramento County in the state legislature and is the Chair of the Senate Health Committee. As a legislator, Dr. Pan continues to practice medicine at WellSpace Health Oak Park Community Clinic, pursuing his passion for working with families to build healthier communities.