8/28: Friday Update

By rebecca No comments


  • The state has updated guidelines for counties that remain in modified phase 1.
    • outdoor group fitness classes with five or fewer people are allowed
    • indoor religious services can be held at 25% capacity or 50 people (whichever is less)
    • social gatherings with 5 or fewer people outside the household per week
    • Professional services can operate at 25% capacity and retail occupancy must not exceed 30%.
    • Curbside library services may resume
    • Drive-in movies are permitted.
    • Full guidance for all phases is available at coronavirus.wa.gov
  • The Washington State Health Department is confirming that its guidance around COVID-19 testing has not changed.
    • Anyone experiencing symptoms should be tested
    • Anyone who has been in close contacted of a confirmed case should be tested, and quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure even if they test negative for COVID-19, because it is possible for people who test negative to still be incubating the virus, and become contagious later.
    • Testing too soon after an exposure may give you a negative result, even if you’ve been infected. If exposed and you develop symptoms, testing that day or the next is recommended. If exposed and you don’t develop symptoms, waiting 5-6 days after exposure to get a test is recommended. People must stay in quarantine for the entire 14 days even if a test is negative.
  • The governor is allowing school districts to use buses and bus drivers to deliver educational materials, meals, and technology to enable remote learning, in addition to the normal job of student transportation.
    • Details are available at governor.wa.gov in the “News & Media” section.
  • Emergency orders from the state Insurance Commissioner have been extended for another month:
    • Health insurers must waive copays and deductibles for COVID-19 testing, must allow a one-time early refill for prescription drugs, and may not require any prior authorization for coronavirus treatment or testing.
  • The Washington State Department of Health will no longer publish counts of COVID-19 deaths on Saturdays and Sundays.
    • The department will now add the counts generated from the weekend to the following Monday and Tuesday reports, as part of the regular reporting process for those days.
    • Regular publishing of COVID-19 death counts will continue Monday through Friday.
  • The Washington Employment Security Department announced that while a the state has been approved for the federal Lost Wages Assistance program, which will give an extra $300 per week for a limited time to eligible unemployed individuals, they do not currently have a timeline for distribution and urge interested individuals not to call the claims center with questions about the program.
    • The department expects to post information to its website when it becomes available.


  • The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has added a dashboard to its schools information webpage to show the county’s progress on key metrics for safely reopening schools for in-person learning.
    • Go to tpcd.org, click on “Healthy People,” and look for the school bus icon for more info.
  • The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department also encourages individuals to tag the department if they post photos of signs in the community that promote health, safety, and hope.
  • Not quite COVID-related, but all 5 lanes of i-5 will close this weekend between Federal Way and Fife in King and Pierce Counties.


  • 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:
    • Tomorrow, August 29th at Charles Wright Academy
    • Tuesday, September 1st, at PLU in Parkland and Dacca Park in Fife
    • Wednesday, September 2nd at Catholic Community Services at 5050 South Tacoma Way, and at the Pierce County Library at 3005 112th Street E
    • Thursday, September 3rd at the Key Peninsula Civic Center, and at Ft. Steilacoom Park
    • Friday, September 4th at Trinity Church Food Program at 1615 6th Ave, and at Pierce County Aids Foundation at 3009 S 40th St, both in Tacoma.
    • No ID is required, and tests are free and open to anyone.
  • Patients can also call their health providers for tests.