12/8: Tuesday 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.
  • A number of mental wellness support phone lines and text services are available
  • The “Washington Listens” support line for managing stress is 1-833-681-0211.
  • The Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number is 800-273-8255
  • The Crisis Text Line provides confidential text access from anywhere in the U.S. to a trained crisis counselor when you Text HEAL to 741741
  • Teens can call or text the Teen Link number at 866-833-6546
  • Individuals struggling with substance use or addiction can call or text the WA Recovery Help Line at 366-789-1511
  • And a “warm line” is available for those facing emotional and mental health challenges at 877-500-WARM (877-500-9276)


  • Today the governor announced that the current state-wide restrictions are being extended three more weeks to at least January 4th in response to rising coronavirus transmission rates and hospitalizations.
    • The governor indicated that while our state is seeing some signs that the current restrictions are working, our hospital systems are “still on the brink.”
    • With the effects of Thanksgiving on infection and hospital numbers still unknown, the extension is intended to grant the state’s medical system much needed time to increase Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity before it’s overwhelmed.
    • It’s already at 80% capacity in our state
    • The governor stressed that the pandemic impacts everyone needing hospital care, not just COVID patients, since those needing intensive care can include those who’ve suffered auto accidents, heart attacks, or other serious illnesses.
  • In light of the extension of restrictions on indoor gathering spaces and venues, the state is making an additional $50 million in grants available for businesses impacted by the safety measures.
  • The governor also announced that job search requirements for unemployed individuals will remain suspended through Jan. 19, 2021.
    • This means the soonest claimants will be required to actively seek work is the week of Jan. 24, and those filing unemployment benefit claims can continue to answer “no” to the job search question on weekly claim until the suspension is lifted.
    • Additionally, the waiting week requirement will remain suspended until Dec. 21, 2020.
    • This means unless further action is taken, new claims with an effective date of claim of Dec. 27, or later, will require an unpaid waiting week, but this will not affect current claims.
  • Reports of child abuse and neglect to state authorities are still below pre-pandemic levels.
    • It is thought that with the majority of children not being seen by teachers, school nurses, school counselors, and other mandated reporters, that some vulnerable children are not getting the help and protection they need.
    • UW and WSU are encouraging all Washington residents age 18 and up to participate in a Washington State Food Security survey to help shed light on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted food access and the eating habits of Washingtonians.
      • Go to redcap.link/WAFOOD2 to take the survey, and to be entered for a random drawing for a $50 grocery gift card.
      • Those who are immediately experiencing food insecurity can call 211 or visit wa211.org
    • State agencies are getting reports of scams where individuals are promising vaccines for money.
      • No vaccines are currently available for coronavirus, and once available, distribution and vaccination will be governed by priority lists.
      • F️or the latest on COVID19 Vaccine Distribution Planning in our state, visit the state Health department website DOH.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19
      • You can also call the state coronavirus Q&A Line
      • Never give bank account info over the phone to someone.


  • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department reported 406 news COVID 19 cases today.
    • The department notes that we will continue to see fluctuations in this week’s daily case count reports as a new data management system is being implemented and data is being migrated over, and advises that the 14-day average case count offers the most reliable look at disease rate in our community until the new system is fully launched.
    • The County’s average cases per day over the last 2 weeks is 223, and the 14-day case rate per 100,000 people is 346.
    • 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.
  • Pierce County Council bill #2020-136 would dissolve the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, which has existed as a collaborative interagency department that reports to an independent 8-person board since 1972.
  • The bill passed through committee Monday morning and will head to a vote of the full Pierce County Council on December 15th.
    • You can give feedback on the proposal to dismantle the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department in the middle of a pandemic by calling 253-798-7777.
    • Councilmember Pam Roach, who sponsored the bill, can be reached at (253) 798-2222. Roach represents residents of Puyallup, Sumner, Fife, Milton, Pacific, Edgewood, Northeast Tacoma, Southeast Auburn, Browns Point and Dash Point.


  • Tacoma City Council will hold its regular meeting today at 5pm followed by monthly Community Forum.
    • 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.
    • For Community Forum, you can now speak and share your comments in real-time via Zoom–links are found at cityoftacoma.org and on the city’s facebook page.
    • Both the Council Meeting and the forum will be broadcast on TV Tacoma and will stream online at tvtacoma.com and on facebook live.
  • Tacoma’s Safe Streets Campaign will be holding a virtual forum tonight 6-8pm on Anti-racism for Neighbors.
    • Community partners will lead discussion on implicit bias, discrimination and housing.
    • Email Alberto at ARodriguez@SafeSt.org or call 253-272-6824 for the links to attend


  • There are numerous free COVID-19 testing sites in our region:
  • This week’s remaining mobile testing events include
    • 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 3-7 days