8/7: Hillary Stephens of the Pierce College Science Dome

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Professor Hillary Stephens of the Pierce College Science Dome explains some of this summer’s nighttime celestial events, along with virtual offerings of the Science Dome.

Interview begins at 7:52.


  • The governor has released a 4-phase reopening plan specifically for long-term care facilities like rehabilitation centers, adult family homes, and nursing homes.
    • Facilities in all phases must offer residents remote visitation
    • Phase 1 facilities may allow visits through windows or outdoors.
    • Phase 2 facilities may also allow limited indoor visits for residents unable to be outdoors or access remote visitation due to their condition, and limited group activities will be allowed.
    • Phase 3 allows for limited indoor visits for all residents, and residents may leave a facility as long as they socially distance and are checked for symptoms upon their return.
    • The phases are separate from the statewide county phase system, but care facilities cannot advance to a higher number phase than their county.
    • Compassionate care visits for residents approaching end of life are allowed in all facilities.
    • Visitors must always be checked for COVID-19 symptoms and must always wear masks.
    • All long term care centers will need to go 28 days with no positive COVID-19 tests among residents or staff before they can advance to the next phase, and only when community transmission rates are low enough.
    • The plan goes into effect August 12, and the full guidelines can be found at coronavirus.wa.gov in the news section.
  • The West Seattle Department of Licensing office will be opening for appointments as of August 11th.
    • It joins Federal Way, Kent, Lacey, Parkland, Puyallup, Renton, and Tacoma offices in our region.
    • Appointments are extremely limited, and only for customers who cannot complete their transaction online, by phone, or by mail.
    • Appointments can be made online at DOL.WA.gov/appointments or by calling 360-902-3900.


  • The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department reports that COVID-19 cases are increasing from all types of gatherings where people are not physically distancing and not wearing face coverings; these include social, business, civic, political, athletic, and religious gatherings.
    • The department notes that even though many businesses are open and small gatherings are permitted in phase 2, county residents should consider staying home as much as possible.
  • Pierce County Planning and Public Works is asking ferry riders to use the ferry only for essential trips in order to help protect passengers and staff.
  • Pierce County still has farmers market vouchers available for low-income seniors.
  • Pierce College is now offering Virtual Information Sessions via Zoom about admissions and financial aid.
    • More info is available at Pierce.ctc.edu in the “Getting Started” section under “Visit Pierce.”
    • Applications for fall 2020 enrollment are also still being accepted.