12/10: Thursday 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)


  • State health officials are now saying that Washington is likely to 400,000 initial vaccine doses this month, which is based on estimated availability of both the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines.
    • Federal committees are expected to review data on the Pfizer vaccine today and the Moderna vaccine next week, and promptly thereafter announce whether the vaccines will be granted emergency use authorization.
    • Then a workgroup organized by the Western States Pact, of which Washington is a member, will review and vet the vaccines as well as the doses are en route to our state.
    • Both vaccines require 2 doses, spread out by a few weeks.
    • An estimated 300,000 health care workers fall in the high-risk category who would qualify to be among the first recipients.
    • Next week, the plan is for the first doses to go to 17 sites spread across 13 counties, which include King and Pierce counties.
    • The specific locations aren’t being shared at this time out of an abundance of caution for security.
  • The governor issued updated guidelines for public transportation providers who receive state funds.
    • Among them are recommendations that agencies and operators provide face coverings and hand sanitizer for passengers, minimize ticket exchanges by implementing a variety of touchless fare options, ensure good ventilation, and make intercom announcements and post signage in multiple languages to explain safety requirements.
    • There are also very specific workplace and operations guidelines regarding employee screenings, distancing and spacing of employees and passengers, and rules on cleaning schedules.
    • The full order can be found online by going to coronavirus.wa.gov and following links found in the news section.


  • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department reported 722 new COVID 19 cases today and 711 yesterday.
    • 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 298, and the 14-day case rate per 100,000 people is 461.
    • For reference, that 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.
  • New criminal jury trials in Pierce County Superior Court have been pushed at least Feb 1st of next year, and new civil trials won’t begin until at least March 1st, 2021.
    • Other court appearances or bench trials will remain unaffected.
    • More information can be found online at PierceCountyWA.gov/courts.


  • Tacoma’s News Tribune newspaper is seeking to honor any of the more than 250 Pierce County residents who have died from COVID-19 this year.
    • If you’ve lost a loved one to COVID-19 and would like to help tell their story, you can contact the paper by emailing newstips@thenewstribune.com and a reporter may follow up.
    • Include your name, your loved one’s name, and a bit about who they were and what they will be remembered for.


  • There are numerous free COVID-19 testing sites in our region:
  • Tomorrow and this week’s mobile testing events include
    • Fri, Dec 11: TCC
    • Sat, Dec 12: Journey Church at 1801 N. Pearl St, Charles Wright Academy at 7723 Chambers Creek Rd, Vassault Park in north Tacoma
    • Sunday, Dec 13: Verlo Park on McKinley, and the MDC at 945 Fawcett Ave in downtown Tacoma.
    • No ID is required
    • Testing runs 10am-3pm.
    • tests are free and open to anyone
    • results are available in 3-7 days