8/14: Michele Cardineaux, Puget Sound Explorers

By rebecca No comments

Michele Cardineaux of the Tacoma Nature Center introduces us to gamified environmental awareness and stewardship through the Puget Sound Explorers Agents of Discovery program! Interview begins at 9:28.


  • The State insurance commissioner has once again extended orders for insurance companies to waive patient copays, deductibles, and fees associated with COVID-19 testing or treatment, and to cover telehealth appointments.
    • The extension runs through September 14th.
  • The governor has extended through September 14th an order that waives certain restrictions on truck diver hours.
    • The order has been in effect since March 18th.
  • The State Health Department and the Institute for Disease Modeling have released a report that offers further evidence of significant risks associated with the resumption of in-person instruction at k-12 schools in Washington.
    • If schools were to resume full-time in-person instruction without public health countermeasures and current COVID-19 incidence in western Washington, around 17% of students and 24% of adult staff could be infectious with the disease while at school.
    • With physical distancing, masking, hand-washing, and restricted small groupings of students, an estimated 4% percent of students and 5.5% of staff could still be infected by December 1st while community disease transmission remains high.
    • The report calls for further work at greatly reducing coronavirus in the general community in order for it to be safe enough to resume in-person schooling.
    • Links to the summary and full report can be found at coronavirus.wa.gov in the “News” section.
  • On August 18th, workers in the food production industry who have not qualified for federal or state paid leave programs will be able to receive supplemental emergency paid leave through the Washington COVID-19 Food Production Paid Leave Program.
    • Further details are expected in the coming days from the state commerce department at commerce.wa.gov
  • The state’s Emergency Management Division is warning that this weekend’s forecast is for very hot weather, and advises the public to stay hydrated, keep pets and children out of vehicles, and take cautions against accidentally starting wildfires.
    • Any cooling shelters that may open will need to abide by COVID safety guidelines and may take your temperature or ask questions about how you are feeling.
    • Local malls or large stores with air conditioning may be available for individuals seeking refuge from the heat, as long as masks can be worn and you can maintain 6-foot distancing.



  • The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department officer has ordered a remote start to the school year for all schools in the county, including private schools, until COVID-19 cases in the county decrease.
    • The department stresses that community members’ diligent distancing and use of masks can help determine when children can return to in-person learning.
    • Per state guidelines, counties with more than 75 cases per 100,000 people have the option for “limited in-person learning in small groups,” such as students with disabilities or students living homeless.
    • In Pierce County, “small groups” shall be interpreted as 5 or fewer individuals.


  • There are numerous free testing sites in our region:
  • For Pierce County locations, visit TPCHD.org/covidtest.
  • This weekend’s and next week’s mobile testing events in Pierce County include:
    • Saturday, August 15, there will be testing at Sumner High School and Fife High School parking lots.
    • Tuesday, August 18th at Springbook Park in Lakewood and Clover Park Technical College
    • Wednesday, Aug 19th at the Asia Pacific Culture Center
    • Wednesday, August 20th at the WA State Fair Grounds Blue Lot in Puyallup
    • Thursday, August 21st, at the Buckley Fire Department and the Greenwater Fire Department
    • All events run from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, no ID is required, and tests are free and open to anyone.
  • Patients can also call their health providers for tests.