7/3: Friday Briefing

By rebecca No comments

Just news and announcements today!  Enjoy a safe Independence Day holiday weekend!


  • The Governor and Secretary of Health announced that starting next week, businesses across the state may only serve customers who are complying with the statewide face covering order.
    • Exemptions include people with certain disabilities and children under the age of 5.
    • The order does not require individuals to document or prove a reason for not wearing a face covering, but business and organizations refusing entry to mask-less individuals may accommodate them with curbside pickup, delivery, or virtual meeting options.
    • The requirement will be monitored by the state Department of Labor & Industries.
  • The Department of Health also will be working with local officials to move the three remaining counties in Phase 1 — Benton, Franklin and Yakima — into a modified Phase 1, to allow for limited local economic activity to help reduce movement of individuals across county lines as people seek goods and services. This is despite high case counts and hospitalizations.
    • Apart from the three Phase 1 counties, the governor has halted any county from advancing beyond their current phase for at least two weeks.
  • Per the governor’s updated orders, bars in Phase 3 counties must cease bar service and keep patrons from congregating at the bar, but may still provide table service.
  • The governor has also extended more than 20 proclamations related to the pandemic, since they were set to expire.
    • Most are waivers from certain statutory requirements, or allowances for events and meetings to occur electronically.
    • All proclamations can be found in the News section of coronavirus.wa.gov and at governor.wa.gov.
  • The state’s insurance commissioner has extended copay and deductible waivers for anyone requiring COVID-19 testing, along with suspending prior authorization requirements related to COVID-19 testing and treatment, through August 2nd.
    • Health Insurers also must continue to allow a one-time early refill for prescription drugs.
    • If an insurer does not have enough medical providers in its network to provide testing or treatment for COVID-19, it must allow subscribers to be treated by another provider within a reasonable distance at no additional cost.
    • The order applies to all state-regulated health plans.


  • Mt. Rainier National Park has opened the Sunrise area to hikers, but warns that the Sunrise and Paradise stations still have more than 5 feet of snow Friday morning.
    • Up-to-date conditions are tweeted out @MountRainierNPS.


  • Nonprofit organizations in Pierce County are invited to participate in a survey to allow county Human Services department and United Way understand the impact of COVID-19 for nonprofits.
  • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department is offering “Triple P” Positive Parenting Program classes virtually this summer for free to families with children ages birth to 12.
    • Participants learn practical strategies to strengthen family relationships, 1 to 2 hours per week for 8 weeks.
    • Call 253-798-4573 to register, or visit TPCHD.org/TripleP.
  • City of Tacoma facilities and Pierce County administrative offices were closed Friday, July 3, in observance of Independence Day. Garbage, recycling, and yard waste pick up in Tacoma will not be affected, and emergency services in all areas remain active.
  • The Tacoma City Marathon Association’s Independence Day 5k will not take place this year, but any registrants fro 2020 will be automatically rolled over into 2021. There are no formal events along Ruston Way this weekend.
  • Those recreating around Spanaway Lake over the holiday weekend are advised to stay out of the water due to a toxic algae bloom.
    • Pets should also stay out of the water, and fish from the lake should not be consumed.
    • More information is available online at TPCHD.org/toxicalgae.


  • There are numerous free testing sites in our region:
  • For Pierce County locations, visit TPCHD.org/covidtest.
  • Patients can also call their health providers for tests.
  • In general, patients should arrive at testing sites wearing face coverings and expect the process to take about 15 minutes.
  • Some of the testing sites offer rapid test results, while others have a 48-hr turnaround time.