11/27: Friday Briefing

By rebecca No comments


  • Bloodbank managers across the state are warning that they are experiencing a critical low supply of blood products, and that if blood donations don’t pick up, blood banks may have to ration out the blood supply.
    • The need for blood products has increase up to 20 percent, while donations have dropped significantly.
    • Donation eligibility has been updated this year to be more inclusive: for example, men who have not had sexual contact with another man in the past 3 months are eligible to donate blood, as are people who have had tattoos and piercings using sterile equipment.
    • Blood donation is considered an essential activity
    • Staff and donors must wear masks and practice social distancing
    • Blood banks do not allow donations from those who self-quarantined in the past 14 days, have had symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
    • Individuals who have recovered from a confirmed COVID-19 infection are asked to donate their Convalescent Plasma for COVID-19 patients in critical care
    • In our region, Bloodworks Northwest manages donations.
    • Call 800-398-7888 or go to https://bloodworksNW.org to schedule an appointment


  • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department reported 128 new COVID 19 cases today, but notes that today’s case count is an undercount due to staffing and processing slowdowns related to the holiday.
    • More people are seeking testing at Pierce County’s mobile sites throughout the county, and the sharp increase in recent testing volume has caused delays in processing and reporting.
    • The department continues to play catch up and report cases from 2 to 3 days ago in addition to cases from yesterday.
    • In addition, Washington State Department of Health has suspended negative test reporting during the unprecedented surge of testing results, and consequently the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Dept won’t update the test positivity rate and number of total daily tests charts until state DOH resolves it backlog.
    • The County’s 14-day case rate per 100,000 people is 360.
    • For reference, 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 department notes that more people are seeking testing at Pierce County’s mobile sites throughout the county, and the sharp increase in recent testing volume has caused delays in processing and reporting, and estimates that today’s case count is likely an undercount.
  • Pierce County homeowners who are past due on their mortgage payments can apply for emergency assistance at piercecountywa.gov/housinghelp


  • The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s annual “Zoolights” display opens tonight
    • Face coverings are required for everyone 5 and up, and there will be one-way paths so visitors can socially distance.
    • All indoor areas are closed in accordance with statewide mandates, including both aquariums, carousel and goat area.
    • Tickets must be purchased online in advance at pdza.org/zoolights in advance to limit the number of people inside.
  • The Tacoma Nature Center is offering outdoor family field trips, led by an educator, by appointment Monday thru Friday, for families up to 4 people.
    • Masks are required for the duration of the program, Temperatures are taken upon arrival, hand sanitizer is readily available and your info will be taken for potential contact tracing
    • Visitors can book their Family Nature Experience visit online at metroparkstacoma.org and following links to the Tacoma Nature Center.
    • Additionally, the center’s Discovery Pond is a natural play area open to the public daily, 9:30 a.m. until 30 minutes after sunset, for free
    • The trail systems are also open to the public daily, 8 a.m. until 30 minutes after sunset.
    • Challenges and guided investigations via the Agents of Discovery free mobile app are also available for download
  • Some Tacoma Public Utilities customers have reported calls from scammers using technology to look and sound like TPU.
    • The utility notes that if you receive a phone call from someone claiming to represent TPU and demanding payment, hang up.
    • TPU is not disconnecting service due to nonpayment during the State of Emergency
    • More information can be had at MyTPU.org/scams or by calling (253) 502-8600


  • There are numerous free COVID-19 testing sites in our region:
    • For King County locations visit KingCounty.gov.
    • A new site has been established at Highline College in Des Moines.
    • For Pierce County locations, visit TPCHD.org/covidtest.
  • This weekend and next week’s mobile testing events include
    • Tomorrow, November 28th, the health dept mobile testing units will be at Key Peninsula Longbranch Improvement Club, Journey Church on Pearl St. in Tacoma, and at the Tacoma Dome.
    • Nn Sunday, November 29th, testing will be held at 3 locations: the Narrows Sixth Avenue Park and Ride, Gig Harbor High School, and Key Peninsula Middle School
    • On Monday, Nov 30: Church For All Nations at 111 112th St. E., and at the Salishan Community Health Center in east Tacoma.
    • Tuesday, Dec 1: Washington State Fairgrounds-Blue Lot in Puyallup
    • Wednesday, Dec 2: PLU and the Asia Pacific Cultural Center
    • Thursday, Dec 3: Bay Terrace Apartments at 2550 South G St., and the University of Puget Sound
    • and on Friday, Dec 4: Tacoma Nazarene Church at 3640 S M St, and at Fort Steilacoom Park
    • No ID is required and tests are free and open to anyone
    • results are available in 3-5 days
    • Testing runs 10am-3pm.