12/17: 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
  • And individuals struggling with substance use or addiction can call or text the WA Recovery Help Line at 366-789-1511


  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just informed state officials that Washington’s allocation for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be reduced by 40%, with no explanation provided.
    • Pfizer has stated the company has zero production issues, that no shipments containing the vaccine are on hold or delayed, and all 2.9 million requested doses have been shipped to locations previously ordered by the federal government.
    • Additionally, Pfizer stated that there are millions more doses sitting in warehouses but, as of today, they have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses.
    • WA is apparently just one of the many states that were informed of a reduction in vaccine availability by the federal government.
  • Bloodworks Northwest will be testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies from through the end of the month.
    • Anyone who gives blood will get results that indicate whether their immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether the donor ever showed symptoms or felt sick.
    • If antibodies are present, it means that the donor’s blood products might be able to help critically ill coronavirus patients, in addition to patients who need blood for other reasons.
    • Prospective donors can book an appointment online at bloodworksNW.org or by calling 1-800-398-7888.
  • To review yesterday’s big news, the governor and the superintendent of public instruction are now recommending that schools in areas with fewer than 50 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents over two weeks make in-person learning available to all students, as long as health and safety measures are in place.
    • In counties where there are between 50 and 350 cases per 100,000, newly issued guidelines encourage districts to phase in in-person schooling for elementary school students and those with special needs, such as those who receive special education and those who are English language learners.
    • The governor also issued a proclamation “reinforcing the fact that our state health and safety protocols are required by law in schools.”
    • Accordingly, schools continue to be prohibited from starting in-person instruction if they cannot implement and comply with workplace safety requirements.


  • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department reported 165 new COVID 19 cases yesterday and 267 cases today.
    • The County’s average cases per day over the last 2 weeks is 335, and the 14-day case rate per 100,000 people is 520.
    • For reference, community spread of COVID-19 is said to be under control when that figure is below 25 per 100,000 residents.
    • And for further reference the number is recommended to be below 350 to begin the process of bringing young students back to school buildings.
  • King and Pierce County Superior Court have implementedeviction resolution programs in anticipation of eviction moratoriums expiring at the end of the month.
    • Participation in the eviction resolution program is free for all parties and is designed to collaboratively problem solve issues of late rent before any official court action need be taken.
    • Pierce County residents can call 253-572-3657 or email solveit@CenterForResolution.org. They can also visit CenterForResolution.org or https://tacomaprobono.org
    • King County residents can call 206 443 9603 x111 or email housing@kcdrc.org. They can also visit kcdrc.org, which is the King County Dispute Resolution Center website.
    • Seattleites have a reprieve because they mayor has extended the city’s eviction moratorium through March 31, 2021.


  • The City of Tacoma is facilitating a virtual discussion about our current housing crisis tomorrow, Dec 18th at noon.
  • Links to the webinar can found on the city’s Facebook page, and further info can be found online at https://cityoftacoma.org/homeintacoma.


  • There are numerous free COVID-19 testing sites in our region:
    • For King County locations visit KingCounty.gov.
    • Note that 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.
    • For Pierce County locations, visit TPCHD.org/covidtest.
  • This week and the weekend’s mobile testing events include
    • Fri, Dec 18: Tacoma Nazarene Church, Chapel Hill Presb Church in Gig Harbor and the Lakewood: State Emission Inspection Station
    • Sat Dec 19: Sumner High School, the WPFR in the University Place, and the Lakewood State Emissions Inspection Station.
    • Sun Dec 20: Dacca Park in Fife, and the Lakewood emissions station
    • No ID is required
    • Testing runs 10am-3pm.
    • tests are free and open to anyone
    • results are available in 3-7 days