12/14: Monday Briefing & Reporte Semanal de COVID

By rebecca No comments

Today’s briefing includes the Spanish-language Reporte Semanal de COVID, produced in collaboration with Latinx En Accion and the TPCHD.


  • 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)


  • The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was granted emergency use authorization by federal authorities as well as a workgroup of experts from the Western State Pact, who unanimously concluded that the vaccine is “safe and efficacious.”
    • Initial vaccine doses this week will go to about 40 facilities in 29 counties, one pharmacy serving long-term care facilities across the state, two tribal nations and one Indian health facility.
    • Recipients will include health care workers and longterm care facility residents.
    • In Pierce County, MultiCare will be the first to receive vaccine doses for Pierce County and the hospital system expects to start vaccinating staff on Friday.
    • Further information can be found online at coronavirus.wa.gov in the news section and at the department of health website at doh.wa.gov.
  • The State Department of Health notes that while the COVID19 vaccine won’t be available for the general public for quite some time, most members of the public can and should get their flu vaccine.
  • The state’s Insurance Commissioner has once again extended his emergency order, directing all state-regulated health insurers to continue coverage for telehealth like phone and video appointments, as well as cover all medically necessary diagnostic testing for flu, COVID-19, and certain other viral respiratory illnesses with no copay, coinsurance or deductible.
    • Insurers must also treat drive-up testing sites for COVID-19 the same as a provider visit with no copay, coinsurance or deductible.
    • Additionally, to help free up hospital beds, health insurers must waive or expedite prior authorization requirements for home healthcare or long-term care facility services to speed up discharging patients who are ready to leave.
    • The order is expected to be renewed upon expiring on January 10th.
  • The Washington Employment Security Department, also known as “Unemployment,” is offering webinars this week Tuesday thru Friday to help Washingtonians apply for unemployment benefits or restart unemployment claims
    • The sessions are free and are designed to help applicants understand the process and avoid common mistakes.
    • See the schedule and sign up esd.wa.gov/UIwebinars


  • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department had not yet reported is new COVID-19 case count for today at the time of airing. There were 481 on Saturday and 517 on Sunday.
  • 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.
  • * King County officials have stated that while news cases and hospitalizations aren’t rising in the county since new restrictions on indoor dining went into place, any uptick could put hospitals in a position where they may need to ration care.
    • They warn that in order to avoid that situation, individuals need to forgo Christmas day gatherings unless they’ve already started quarantining.
    • King County is no longer allowing individuals to book free COVID-19 tests days in advance, in order to discourage would-be holiday travelers, and to prioritize testing for those who’ve been exposed or those who are experiencing symptoms.


  • On Tuesday, Dec 15th, The Asia Pacific Cultural Center and Lumpia Love will be distributing a free hot Lumpia lunch starting a 11am until food is gone.
    • The Center is located at 4851 South Tacoma Way.
    • Recipients are asked to wear face coverings.
  • Students in grades 3-5 who attend Lister, Boze, Sheridan, Blix, Birney, Larchmont, Fawcett, DeLong, Edison, Manitou Park, Jennie Reed, and Whitman Elementaries are eligible to sign up for Online ELO, or extended learning opportunities, at https://www.tacomaELO.com.
    • Registration closes on Dec 17th
    • Activities include Sketch Club, hip hop, Step, world drumming, and ukelele.
    • All activities are conducted and attended virtually.
  • The Hilltop Action Coalition invites the neighborhood to a virtual Holiday Gathering tonight at 6pm.
    • Attendees must register in advance using links found on the HAC facebook page.
    • After registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
    • The Hilltop Action Coalition is also facilitating a Hilltop Holiday Crawl to support local businesses through Dec 20th.
    • Individuals can stop by Hilltop Action Coalition for a Passport, face masks, and sanitizer from 10am to 4pm at 1116 Earnest S Brazill ST. ⠀⠀
    • More info can be found at https://www.hilltopcrawl.com.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀



  • There are numerous free COVID-19 testing sites in our region:
    • For King County locations visit KingCounty.gov.
    • A new free Covid-19 testing site opened today in Enumclaw, which has seen higher rates of COVID-19 infection and hospitalization compared to the rest of King County.
    • The site is across from the Enumclaw Municipal Building and will operate Thurs-Sat starting at 10:30am.
    • For Pierce County locations, visit TPCHD.org/covidtest.
    • A new COVID 19 testing site recently opened in Lakewood at 3003 107th St, where testing is available Wed thru Sunday 10:30am-5:30 pm.
  • This week’s mobile testing events include
    • Tues, Dec 15: Clover Park Technical College, Buckley Fire Dept, Greenwater Fire Dept
    • Wed, Dec 16: Metroparks Kandle Park, the Asia Pacific Cultural Center
    • Thurs Dec 17: Puyallup Fairgrounds Blue Lot, Centro Latino
    • Fri, Dec 18: Tacoma Nazarene Church, Chapel Hill Presb Church in Gig Harbor
    • No ID is required
    • Testing runs 10am-3pm.
    • tests are free and open to anyone
    • results are available in 3-7 days