12/9: 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.
  • 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)


  • A quarter of the state’s intensive care unit beds are now occupied by COVID-19 patients, and 80% of ICU beds in hospitals across Washington are occupied.
    • Due to the sharp uptick in COVID-19 infections from community spread of the coronavirus, all current restrictions on businesses and venues will remain in place till at least January 4th on the governor’s orders.
    • This means no indoor dining at restaurants and bars; gyms, fitness centers, and cultural centers like museums and aquariums are closed for indoor activity; and retail must limit occupancy to 25%.
    • This 3-week extension comes with new funding available for businesses impacted by the closures and restrictions.
    • Business owners can apply for financial support at commerce.wa.gov/bizgrants. Priority is given to those who apply by Dec. 11th. As an aside, this Hilltop Action Coalition was informed that there weren’t many Tacoma or Pierce County businesses that have applied for this grant yet, so share the info with your favorite business owners!
  • State officials report that they are optimistic that 62,400 doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine will be available by Dec. 15 to high-risk health workers in Washington State.
    • They expect total of 219,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine if it is approved by federal and western state review teams, and about 182,000 Moderna vaccine doses if that one is approved, all by the end of the year.
    • In our state, there are about 300,000 health care workers who fall in category of high-risk healthcare workers who would be targeted for the first wave of vaccination.
    • Federal committees are slated to review the Pfizer vaccine tomorrow and the Moderna vaccine next week.
    • Both vaccines are in production and have shown promising results, but any doses for vaccines which are not approved will be destroyed and not given to the public.
    • Separate from the state allotment of vaccine is an allotment for Defense Department workers.
    • Joint Base Lewis-McChord is one of the initial distribution sites for coronavirus vaccine to military personnel.
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, which are in addition to standard unemployment benefits, are set to expire Dec 26th.
    • The governor has stated that Washington State will extend Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits for people on the system if congress does not.
  • The Department of Social & Health Services continues to offer the Disaster Cash Assistance Program
  • It consists of benefits for one month in a 12-month period, to low-income families as well as to people without children who meet the income and resource limits
  • Recipients must also be ineligible for other cash assistance programs.
  • Benefits don’t count as part of the public charge, and a social security number is not required!
  • Interested people can apply online at WashingtonConnection.org or by calling the Customer Service Contact Center at 877-501-2233 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.


  • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department reported xxxxxxxxxxx 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 xxxxxxxxx, and the 14-day case rate per 100,000 people is xxxxxxxxx.
    • 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.
    • All players will undergo additional coronavirus testing, and Saturday’s scheduled game at Oregon may be postponed.


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