9/9: Wednesday Briefing

By rebecca No comments


  • The state health department’s agency operations were severely impacted by wind storm damage on Monday and Tuesday this week, with several services temporarily unavailable
    • The department was forced to delay updates to COVID-19 data on Tuesday, so numbers may appear skewed this week.


  • As of Wednesday morning, September 9, wildfire smoke levels were registering as UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS due to weather conditions and wildfire smoke.
    • Puget Sound Clean Air Agency expects air quality to continue to be MODERATE to UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS for through at least Thursday, with the possibility that such conditions will persist until late this weekend or early next week when westerly winds are forecast to bring in cleaner ocean air.
    • High temperatures may lead to MODERATE ozone levels in the Cascade foothills on Thursday.
    • The Puget Sound Clean Air agency, along with the health departments of Kitsap, Snohomish, King, and Pierce Counties, asks all individuals not to burn anything in order to prevent further local air pollution, which impacts people in sensitive groups.
    • Sensitive groups include infants, children, people over 65, or pregnant individuals, those with heart or lung diseases (such as asthma or COPD), individuals with diabetes, stroke survivors, and those fighting COVID-19
    • All residents are encouraged to stay at home when possible
    • Limit outdoor activity, such as running, bicycling, physical labor, sports or hobbies
    • Close windows in your home, if possible, to keep the indoor air clean.
    • Use air conditioners on recirculation modes.
    • Check filters on home air systems and use portable air cleaners if available
    • Avoid dangerous indoor temperatures by opening windows for short periods of time to keep cool
    • Seek medical attention if symptoms are severe
  • More info on smoke and air quality is available at pscleanair.gov or WASmoke.blogspot.com, or airnow.gov or PurpleAir.com.
  • As residents across the state experience displacement due to fire damage and safety evacuations, the department of emergency management has the following recommendations:
    • For the safety of shelter residents and workers, the Red Cross is unable to accept material donations of any kind right now.
    • Anyone looking for help should dial 211.
    • The Washington State Patrol is particularly worried that brush fires may explode into deadly fires from people throwing cigarettes out their windows. Please don’t do this.
    • Many people are wondering where to go to escape the smoke, but conditions are dynamic and changing quickly, so most communities should be prepared to stay indoors.
  • Pierce County is under the following mandatory burn restrictions:
    • All outdoor recreational and cooking fires, except for gas grills, are prohibited
    • this includes charcoal or wood fires in fire pits, fire rings, chimineas, or campfires
  • For Pierce County burn ban questions, call 253-798-7278
  • Several areas of Pierce County experienced evacuation orders last night due to wildfires
  • All Washingtonians can sign up for evacuation info and other alerts at https://mil.wa.gov/alerts to get text notifications


  • Young adults interested in job opportunities at Pierce County are invited to the Virtual Youth Career Event Sept. 11 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. , hosted by Pierce County and AmeriCorps
    • Interested youth will have the opportunity to learn more about requirements and other details of the open positions, including how to apply.
    • Go to Facebook.com/pierceco and look for events to register in advance and receive a link to the virtual event


  • This Saturday, Sept. 12, at 6pm, The City of Tacoma will present the 34th Annual City of Destiny Awards, recognizing Tacoma’s top volunteers!
    • Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the awards ceremony will take place virtually via Facebook Live
  • This morning was the first day of school for Tacoma Public School students.
    • The district experienced technical issues that will delay access to classes for some teachers and students.
    • The tech department expects that all system connections were restored and corrected by noon today
    • If families attempted to access a class in Microsoft Teams this morning and couldn’t get in, the district urges everyone to connect on Thursday.


  • There are numerous free testing sites in our region:
  • For Pierce County locations, visit TPCHD.org/covidtest.
    • On Thursday, Sept 10, both Centro Latino in Hilltop and UW Tacoma will hold testing 10am-3pm
    • The Puyallup Tribe will offer free COVID-19 testing on Thursday, Sept 10th for its government employees 10am-noon and for Tribal members noon-3pm.
    • Tacoma Community College’s mobile testing event is Friday, Sept 11th 10am-3pm
  • No ID is required for the Pierce County tests (Puyallup Tribal tests may require identification, and tests are free and open to anyone.
  • Patients can also call their health providers for tests.