12/1: Tuesday Briefing

By rebecca No comments


  • The governor and the Department of Health (DOH) have launched “WA Notify,” an anonymous exposure notification app whose aim is to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
    • Washington residents who add WA Notify to their smartphones will be alerted if they spent time near another WA Notify user who later tests positive for COVID-19.
    • Officials stated that the app uses privacy-preserving technology jointly developed by Google and Apple to remain anonymous without collecting or revealing any location or personal data of users.
    • The app is available in 29 language and is free to download on iPhone or Android devices.
    • The states of New York, Virginia, and Colorado, along with the countries of Ireland, Canada, and Germany already use tools based on this technology.
    • More information is available at Governor.wa.gov in the “News and Issues” section, or at WANotify.org.


  • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department reported 282 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 383.
    • 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.
  • More than 30 patients and staff at Western State psychiatric hospital have been infected by the most recent outbreak of coronavirus there.
    • One nurse tested positive, followed by 10 patients on a single ward, ranging from age 62 to 82, along with other employees.
    • The Western State CEO pleaded with all workers at the hospital and at other worksites to hold one another accountable for wearing the correct masks, and wearing them over both your mouth and nose, in order to limit spread of the disease.
    • Hospital officials are seeking replacement nursing staff to work on the COVID-19 ward and have offered overtime pay


  • The city of Tacoma’s weekly council meeting will take place virtually this evening at 5pm.
    • If you’d like to submit a comment relating to an item on the agenda, written public comments can be submitted to cityclerk@cityoftacoma.org before 4 p.m. or you can also speak during the meeting to share your public comment if you call in via Zoom.
    • The meeting will be broadcast on TV Tacoma and streamed live on Facebook and at tvtacoma.com.
    • Links can found on the city’s facebook page, or at cityoftacoma.org.
  • The City of Tacoma has launched a searchable database of Tacoma businesses from sectors that have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic
    • The database is called ‘Celebrate Tacoma’
    • To be included, local retail, restaurant, café and service businesses are invited to participate in a brief survey found at cityoftacoma.org under the “COVID-19 updates” section, and the database itself can be found online at makeittacoma.com.


  • There are numerous free COVID-19 testing sites in our region:
  • This week’s mobile testing events include
    • 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.