12/30: Wednesday Briefing

By rebecca No comments

Today’s Daily Briefing includes a replay of an interview with Rosemary Ponnekanti, introducing us to the Tacoma Light Trail, which debuts tonight!


  • 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.


  • The governor today extended current statewide emergency restrictions to January 11th to continue to combat community transmission of coronavirus.
  • Health officials are urging people to be on the lookout for signs of suicide risk among youth, since the studies suggest that one in four kids under the age of 18 has had suicidal thoughts since the pandemic began.
    • Many resources are available for adults and youth experiencing distress, as well as those caring for youth
    • The “Washington Listens” support line for managing stress and getting referrals for behavioral health services is 1-833-681-0211.
    • The Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number is 800-273-8255 for English, or 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish.
    • 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
    • Frontline workers experiencing mental or emotional crisis can text FRONTLINE 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 Tacoma Pierce County Health Department reported 222 new COVID 19 cases today, but notes that Holiday-related delays are resulting in fluctuating daily case counts.
    • The County’s average cases per day over the last 2 weeks is 252, and with a 6-day lag to account for data accuracy, the case rate per 100,000 people is 463.
  • The Puyallup Tribal Health Authority has received the next round of COVID-19 vaccines and has begun scheduling appointments for Puyallup Tribal Member Elders and their eligible spouses during the week of January 4 through January 8 – by appointment only.
    • The Tribal Health Authority will send text messages to patients that meet the criteria for the next phases, which in order include at-risk Elders, all tribal Elders, at-risk adults, and then all adults.
    • Once tribal members receive a text message, call 253-593-0232 to schedule your appointment.
  • Sound Outreach is available to advise unbanked Pierce County residents on getting set up with an account at a local credit union or bank in order to receive forthcoming government stimulus checks faster.
    • Sound Outreach also provides credit counseling and other services to help residents achieve financial solvency in the new year, all free of charge to clients.
    • Inquiries can be directed to info@soundoutreach.org or (253) 593-2111.


  • TMAC, or Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective, is seeking gift cards that initial recipients don’t plan on using, in order to redistribute to needy neighbors as direct aid, or to buy supplies for on-the-ground distribution.
  • Cards for groceries, restaurants, electronics and hardware stores are especially sought, and can be dropped off at King’s Books on 2nd and St. Helen’s in Tacoma.


  • There are numerous free COVID-19 testing sites in our region:
    • For King County locations visit KingCounty.gov.
    • For Pierce County locations, visit TPCHD.org/covidtest.
    • There will be no mobile testing on Thursday or Friday this week, but the department will be back this weekend offering free testing on Saturday, Jan 2nd at the Fraternal Order of Eagles building in Orting and at Journey Church in Tacoma.
    • No ID is required, tests are free and open to anyone, and most testing runs 10am-3pm, but check TPCHD.org for specifics
    • Results are available in 3-7 days
    • Bonus: Some COVID test sites are also doing free adult flu shots too!
  • A new program even arranges for a test to be delivered to you if you have mobility issues or trouble getting to a test site.
  • Cheney Stadium is partnering with Discovery Health to offer COVID-19 testing Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. through Feb. 28.