12/4: Friday Briefing

By rebecca No comments


  • The State Department of Health has released an update about anticipated coronavirus vaccine distribution. The timeline is as follows:
    • A Federal committee is expected to meet December 10th to review Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer vaccine.
    • The authorization would make the vaccine available for use during this declared state of emergency before it has a full license.
    • If the authorization is approved, the vaccine then gets vetted by the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, per a pact between the western states of WA, CA, and OR, and that process is expected to take only 1-2 days during which processing and shipping is taking place simultaneously so as to avoid delays.
    • The state hopes to begin administering vaccines by mid-December
    • The Federal government has estimated that around 62,400 doses would be allocated for WA, for a total of around 200,000 doses by the end of December.
    • The state is finalizing a protocol around who is prioritized to receive vaccines once they become available, but it is certain that healthcare workers serving confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections will be among the first people to receive the vaccine, along with staff and residents of long-term care facilities.
    • Providers who have fully enrolled in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program by December 6 will be eligible to receive part of the first shipment
    • Clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals may enroll at www.COVIDVaccineWA.org.
  • The governor has also updated restrictions for religious and faith-based organizations to clarify that outdoor religious and spiritual services may take place with up to 200 individuals, regardless of location, so long as physical distancing is followed and face coverings are worn.
    • This modification expands where outdoor services can be held: services are no longer limited to the organization’s property or an immediately adjacent property.
  • As of Thursday, December 3, the Washington State Department of Health reports that 2,900 Washingtonians have died due to COVID-19 with a 1.7% death rate among positive cases.
    • Also, compared to white people and Asian people, the rate of Covid cases is nearly three times higher for Black people, and nearly seven times higher for Latino people, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.
    • Individuals from statistically impacted groups are urged to seek testing, especially as the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations has his its highest level since the pandemic started.
    • More than 1,000 people are hospitalized in Washington, which is more than double the amount from a month ago.
  • Small businesses that are struggling have until Dec 11th to apply for State Department of Commerce grants.


  • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department reported 274 new COVID 19 cases today
    • The County’s 14-day case rate per 100,000 people is 394.
    • 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, and should be below 25 per 100,000 residents to be considered under control.


  • There are numerous free COVID-19 testing sites in our region:
  • This weekend and next week’s mobile testing events include
    • Saturday, Dec 5th: UW-Tacoma, Elk Ridge Elementary in Buckley, and Fox Island Alliance Church
    • Sunday, Dec 6: Tacoma Dome and Orting’s Fraternal Order of Eagles
    • Monday, Dec 7: Sprinker Recreation Center
    • Tuesday, Dec 8: Pierce College in Puyallup and Centro Latino in Tacoma
    • Wed, Dec 9: PLU & UPS
    • Thur, Dec 10: Church for All Nations
    • Fri, Dec 11: TCC
    • No ID is required
    • Testing runs 10am-3pm.
    • tests are free and open to anyone
    • results are available in 3-5 days