11/18: Wednesday Briefing

By rebecca No comments


  • State-level updates on COVID-19 can be found online in multiple languages at coronavirus.wa.gov.
  • Dialing 311 will get you to the City of Tacoma’s non-emergency information line.
  • The state’s Coronavirus Q&A line is staffed 7 days a week, 6am-10pm, at 1-800-525-0127. For interpreters in other languages, press # when they answer and say your language.
  • You can also text the coronavirus Q&A line at 211-211 in any language.
  • Dialing 211 will connect you to community resources statewide through United Way, and you can also visit wa211.org online.
  • The “Washington Listens” support line is available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends, to help Washingtonians cope with pandemic-related stress as a free service for those who are not in crisis but need an outlet to manage stress. The number for Washington Listens is 1-833-681-0211.
  • Influenza vaccines are now widely available at pharmacies and clinics; go to KnockOutFlu.org or https://fluzone.com to find a vaccination location.
    • Uninsured adults can now get a free flu vaccine at the Safeway pharmacies on 12th & M St. in Hilltop, and on 38th St. in Tacoma’s Lincoln District, or at 21 other locations across the state of Washington.
    • No proof of residency or immigration status is required.


  • 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.
  • Applications are open for Washington Covid-19 Immigrant Relief Fund through Dec 6th
    • Grants of up to $1,000 per person are available for those who have not been eligible for other types of funds, such as federal stimulus checks
    • Applications are available online at DSHS.wa.gov


  • 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.
  • Pierce County Restaurants participating in the Restaurant Rally program will continue giving customers a 30% discount for takeout (except for 3rd party delivery services) for today and tomorrow, even as indoor onsite dining has been paused across the state.
    • Additionally, The Pierce County Council voted Tuesday to update the 10-day promotional program so that instead of participating establishments being reimbursed 50% of gross sales, excluding alcohol, they will be reimbursed 100% of total sales.
  • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department reported 145 new COVID 19 cases today.
  • The County’s 14-day case rate per 100,000 people is 307.
  • The figure is recommended to be at 75 per 100,000 to consider bringing back youngest students for hybrid in-person learning at schools.


  • The mayor of Tacoma signed an emergency rule that would caps the delivery fees that third-party apps can charge to Tacoma restaurants.
    • Such fees sometimes exceed 30% while not allowing restaurants to adjust their menu prices, even as a larger percentage of food orders have shifted to online delivery services during the pandemic, severely impacting economic viability of restaurants.
  • Tacoma’s Rental Assistance Program Available through December 31, 2020
    • To apply for the program, participants must meet the following eligibility requirements:
      • Households located in the City of Tacoma who have experienced loss of employment or reduction in wages due to COVID-19, and who are at or below 60% Area Median Income for Pierce County
      • Applications are available online at cityoftacoma.org–look in the Coronavirus info section, or call 311
      • Two awards of up to $1,000 per household, which is paid directly to the landlord.
      • The majority of the funds will be awarded through a lottery.


  • There are numerous free COVID-19 testing sites in our region:
  • This week’s remaining free pop-up testing events in Pierce county include:
    • 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.