11/17: Tuesday Briefing

By rebecca No comments

We started KTQA Daily Briefing back in March of this year, when our school closures and stay-home orders began. As the spring progressed to summer, so too did our work to “flatten the curve of infection” progress. As Pierce County moved into Phase 2 of reopening, and Sam and Becky went back to work (he at building out of broadcast studio, and she as a public school educator working remotely), and we moved to a 3-day per week live broadcast with replays on alternating days. But as new guidelines have been issued and COVID cases are surging locally and nationally, we find that circumstances warrant a return to a truly daily briefing.


  • Over the weekend, the governor announced new and updated guidelines for economic and social activity in Washington in order to stem coronavirus transmission:
    • Indoor gatherings with anyone from outside one’s household are prohibited after today, unless all parties can quarantine for two weeks prior to gathering, or for 7 days plus a negative covid test no more than 48 hrs prior to gathering.
    • The governor has implored all Washingtonians to forgo Thanksgiving gatherings unless all members of a party can quarantine immediately and faithfully for two weeks.
    • Outdoor gatherings may have no more than 5 people.
    • Only outdoor visits are permitted at long term care facilities except for end-of-life circumstances.
    • Retail, groceries, and personal services are limited statewide to 25% capacity.
    • Religious services are also limited to 25% capacity, or 200 people, whichever is less, and no musical ensemble performances or practice, including for choirs, is permitted. Soloists at religious services are ok.
    • No congregational singing is permitted.
    • Wedding and funeral ceremonies may take place with limited attendance, but indoor receptions of any size are prohibited.
    • Indoor gyms and fitness facilities must close, and youth and adult amateur sporting activities are limited to outdoors only with facial coverings.
    • Cultural centers like bowling alleys, museums, indoor spaces at zoos, aquariums, and movie theaters must close.
    • After Tuesday night, all indoor dining must cease; takeout and outdoor dining with up to 5 people per table is still permitted.
    • The restrictions will remain in effect until Monday, December 14.
    • All K-12 education, higher education, child care, courts, and court-related proceedings are not affected by any new restrictions, and may continue operations under previous safety guidance.
    • Washingtonians are strongly urged to recommit to preventative measures, including severely restricting interacting with anyone outside one’s household, masking whenever interacting with anyone from outside ones household for any period of time, and washing hands.
  • The Washington Department of Emergency Management is asking the public to buy only what you need when shopping for food and household items at grocery stores.
    • The department states that supply chains will remain healthy if we all buy only what we need, and asks all shoppers to please respect grocery store limitations on supplies and plan ahead.
    • Don’t forget your mask and to maintain social distance in stores and please stay patient with hardworking employees, who are just trying to do their job.
  • Today, Gov. Inslee announcDr. Umair Shah as the new Secretary of the state Department of Health.
    • He replaces outgoing Health Secretary Dr. John Wiesman, who had delayed his retirement in order to assist with the pandemic.
    • Dr. Shah comes from Harris County, Texas, which is the third largest county in the nation.


  • Many hospitals have increased visitor policy restrictions.
    • At CHI Franciscan acute care hospitals, visitors are allowed only in very limited circumstances, such as births or end-of-life care.
    • Facilities in the multicare system are now only allowing two consistent visitors for NICU and pediatric patients, patients in labor and delivery, patients who need caregivers for safety reasons, or patients at end of life.
  • The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has been granted use of federal funds through the county to develop a multi-media marketing campaign to promote coronavirus testing, focused on two demographics: young men aged 18-24, and mothers of 10- to 19-year-olds.
    • Young men are statistically more likely to engage in risky behavior and are among the least likely to get preventative health screenings.
    • Pierce County residents in the 20-39 age range comprise 27 percent of the population but represent 40 percent of COVID cases.
    • Residents age 0-19 had the fastest-growing infection rate in recent weeks.


  • Free flu vaccines for adults are available in Tacoma Tomorrow at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s parking lot at 3629 S. D St., 5am-1pm.


  • There are numerous free COVID-19 testing sites in our region:
    • Tuesday, November 17th at Peck Athletic Field, at Stewart Heights Park, and at the 72nd and Portland Park & Ride, all in Tacoma
    • Wednesday, November 18th at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center in South Tacoma and at the University of Puget Sound in North Tacoma
    • Thursday, Nov. 19th at Centro Latino in Hilltop and at the Washington State Fairgrounds Blue Lot in Puyallup
    • Friday, Nov 20th at Gig Harbor High School
    • No ID is required and tests are free and open to anyone
    • results are available in 3-5 days
    • Testing runs 10am-3pm.