Carbon Health Responds to the Omicron Surge — and Looks to the Future

Nita Sommers
January 20, 2022
4 mins

The Omicron variant has pushed COVID-19 testing capacity in the U.S. to a breaking point — locating at-home tests has become nearly impossible, testing appointments are becoming more difficult to find, and wait times for results have grown excruciatingly long.

(Read “What We Know About the Omicron Variant” to learn more.)

Carbon Health on the Front Lines of the Fight Against Omicron

In an effort to serve communities in need and our partners in public health, Carbon Health has launched three mass testing sites (with the potential for more to come in the near future). These sites will allow people to book appointments (thus eliminating long lines at testing sites) and will return results within 48 hours:

     • Our Montgomery, NJ, site has the capacity to perform 1,000 tests per day.

     • Our Plainsboro, NJ, site has the capacity to perform 1,000 tests per day. 

     • Our South San Francisco, CA, site currently has the capacity to perform 200 tests per day; this capacity will expand to 1,000 tests per day by January 24. 

Carbon Health has been a national leader as the country has struggled with the Omicron surge. Throughout December and January, we’ve been performing nearly 4,000 tests per day, as we continue to provide vaccines in high-need communities. We also provide vital care — at our nearly 100 clinics across the nation and via virtual appointments — to our patients who have COVID-19. 

What We Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the earliest days of the pandemic, Carbon Health has been a crucial resource, bridging dangerous gaps in the U.S. healthcare system. We launched California’s first public testing sites for essential workers, and we’ve performed more than two million COVID-19 tests — in our clinics, in our travel clearance locations, and in the communities we serve (including those in dire need, such as jails, shelters, and nursing homes). When vaccines were first authorized for use, we created and operated the largest mass vaccination site in the country, as well as numerous other sites. And we’ve administered nearly 1.5 million vaccines at mass testing sites (for instance, at the Oakland Coliseum in the San Francisco Bay Area and at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles) and at pop-up sites serving communities that historically do not have equal access to healthcare. 

But those healthcare gaps are still with us — as evidenced by the COVID-19 testing crisis the U.S. is currently facing. There is a grave imbalance in what the market needs and what is available; this is one reason that a current focus for Carbon Health is increasing testing capacity in our largest markets.

We are uniquely positioned for success in this effort — thanks to our expertise and experience in quickly mobilizing healthcare teams and launching massive testing and vaccination sites, our standardized model for working with local municipal governments and agencies, and our ability to nimbly reduce and increase capacity, based on local needs.

How We’re Bringing Better Healthcare to More People

As a longtime provider of urgent care and primary care, Carbon Health is now taking these learnings and expanding into more types of care — bridging yet more gaps in our healthcare system: 

     • Providing flu shots

     • Providing medical care for people with COVID-19, including COVID-19 long-haulers

     • Providing medical care for people living with chronic conditions 

     • Providing broader health support, including mental health care and preventive care

This is a unique moment in history — a time when private healthcare companies like Carbon Health have an opportunity and, we believe, an obligation to serve and protect public health. We’re honored to partner with both public entities and our patients during this time, as we work together toward a brighter future. 

Carbon Health’s medical content is reviewed and approved by healthcare professionals before it is published. But note that our knowledge and understanding of COVID-19 are developing and changing very rapidly; if you have questions or concerns about COVID-19 precautions, treatments, and vaccinations, please talk to your healthcare provider.

Nita Sommers

Nita Sommers leads growth expansion at Carbon Health, including spearheading new strategic initiatives and expanding Carbon Health’s work with payers, providers, employers, and other ecosystem partners. 

Nita previously served as the president of Honor, a provider of home-based care to older adults, and she spent nearly seven years as the chief strategy officer at Castlight Health, a health navigation platform for employers and health plans. She was also an early member of the Athenahealth team, and was most recently an operating partner for Khosla Ventures, where she worked with the firm’s portfolio of early-stage companies transforming healthcare.