7/29: Wednesday Update

By sam No comments

No interview today, just updates!


  • The governor has extended the pause indefinitely on counties moving ahead in the state’s phased reopening plan due to increasing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Washington.
  • Starting tomorrow, new rules for restaurants go into effect:
    • Alcohol service at restaurants must end at 10:00 p.m.
    • Table size indoors is reduced to 5 people from the same household
    • Video games, billiards, darts, and other gaming areas must be closed
    • Bar seating is banned across the state, and no indoor service is allowed at taverns, breweries, wineries, or distilleries unless the establishment also has a restaurant license and it continues restaurant operations.
    • Outdoor eating areas must have a maximum of two walls enclosing the area.
  • Also starting tomorrow, family entertainment centers like mini golf, arcades, and bowling alleys, along with adult gaming centers like card rooms, are prohibited from opening.


  • The Washington State Department of Health has launched a statewide survey to assess the behavioral, economic, social, and emotional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The survey is voluntary and confidential, with the option to provide contact info for the chance to receive a $100 gift certificate through a weekly drawing.
    • The department asks residents of Washington to visit WAcoronasurvey.com to take part in the survey online, or to call 855-530-5787 to take the survey by phone.
    • Interpreters are available to assist with languages other than English by phone, and the online survey is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Somali.
  • The Health Department is also clarifying that legitimate contact tracers for COVID-19 or any other disease will never ask for credit card or bank account information.
    • Scammers pretending to be state workers appear to be calling individuals and informing them that they must pay $50 for a test done by mail.
    • This scheme is not part of any national, state, or local health department initiative.
    • Real contact tracers will direct individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 to free testing resources, and should be able to name the agency they are working for.
    • Anyone who suspects they are being scammed is advised to hang up and contact the agency the caller supposedly works for, or to call the state coronavirus line 1-800-525-0127
  • Researchers with the University of Washington have issued a warning that even those who have had positive serology antibody tests should not stop protective measures since scientists don’t know how long immunity can or will last, and since current antibody tests are highly varied in accuracy.


  • King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, along with the city of Tacoma, the Port of Seattle, and the Port of Everett, are extending teleworking for eligible employees until 2021.


  • All Pierce County school districts now intend to begin the school year with full-time remote learning this fall.
    • This is in response to the county health director’s statement that it is unsafe to reopen schools for in-person learning right now due to the increase in COVID-19.
  • A burn ban goes into effect for unincorporated Pierce County starting tomorrow, July 30th, at 8am due to hot, dry weather conditions.


  • Several city-operated park facilities are now open:
    • Visitors are free to use the playground equipment at Gas Station Park and the Sawyer Tot Lot
    • Picnic tables and gathering areas at Gateway Park, War Memorial Park, and the South Grant and South 23rd Street Park are open for community use
  • As families in Tacoma prepare to begin the school year with remote instruction, The Foundation for Tacoma Students is stepping in to provide free internet access for one year for qualified families.
    • Email tech@graduatetacoma.org, or call (253) 327-1448 for information on free internet access.
  • On Tuesday, August 4th, Tacoma Community House will be handing out food boxes starting at 10 am at 1314 S L St.
    • Staff will be masked and distanced, and recipients are asked to do the same, and to enter the parking lot from “L” Street.
    • No reservation nor documentation is required, and distribution will run until all boxes are gone.
  • The city of Tacoma is hosting another virtual workshop this Friday at 1pm called “Budget in the Time of COVID-19” to discuss and get community feedback on 2021-2022 budget priorities in light of a projected 67 million-dollar deficit.
    • Presenters will give an overview of the current budget, the impacts of COVID-19, and the city’s commitment to anti-racism, followed by feedback from participants on balancing the city’s budget priorities.
    • Go to the city’s facebook page for links to join the Zoom meeting, or call the city at 311 for information on how to join via computer or phone.