1/5: Tuesday 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.
  • Many resources are available for adults and youth experiencing distress, as well as those caring for anyone experiencing emotional distress.
    • 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, o en espanol: ocho ochenta y ocho, seis veintiocho, noventa y cuatro, cincuenta y cuatro 1-888-628-9454
    • 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. If you text FRONTLINE to 741741, you’ll be connected with a crisis counselor trained to help frontline workers in the fight against COVID.
    • 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


  • This afternoon we were delayed in offering our Daily Briefing because Governor Inslee was holding a press conference to announce changes to the way the state will address pandemic-related safety closures, restrictions, and reopenings.
    • Beginning January 11th, determinations will focus on regions within Washington state instead of counties
    • Counties are grouped into eight regions based on health system resources spanning a geographic area.
    • Pierce County is grouped with King and Snohomish Counties to form the Central Puget Sound Region.
    • There will be 2 phases for now, and regions have to show a 10% decreasing trend in case rates; a 10% decrease in COVID hospital admission rates; an ICU occupancy rate that’s less than 90%, and a test positivity rate of less than 10% in order to move from phase 1 to phase 2.
    • Phase changes are announced based on data published on Fridays, and take effect the following Monday.
    • Regions that fail to meet two or more of the metrics will be moved back to Phase 1.
    • All regions will begin in Phase 1, because of current metrics.
    • Current restrictions apply to Phase 1, with a few updates:
      • appointment-based fitness and personal training where there is no more than 1 customer per room or 500 square feet for large facilities will be allowed.
      • Outdoor cultural venues can reopen, such as zoos, outdoor theaters and concert venues, and rodeos, with timed ticketing to groups no larger than 10.
      • Indoor gatherings and indoor dining remain prohibited
      • Retail, worship services, personal services, and professional services — where remote work isn’t available—are limited to 25% capacity.
  • The state has developed an online tool for Washingtonians to determine when they will be eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine.
    • The tool can currently be found by searching Phase Finder
    • Contact information will remain private.
    • Group 1A is currently eligible for vaccination and includes frontline healthcare workers and older residents of longterm care facilities.
    • Members of Vaccination Group 1B has not been identified yet, but phase 2 is expected to include those working among the public, such as grocery store workers.
    • The form does not apply to anyone living in Indian Country or within tribal jurisdictions, which determine their own priority for vaccination.


  • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department reported 210 new COVID 19 cases today. There were 164 cases yesterday.
    • The County’s average cases per day over the last 2 weeks is 262, and with a 6-day lag to account for data accuracy, the case rate per 100,000 people is 407.
  • UW Medicine is now enrolling volunteers for a phase 3 clinical trial of the Novavax vaccine
    • Researchers especially want to enroll volunteers from underserved and disproportionately impacted communities, which include members of Black, Latinx, Pacific Islander, and Native American communities.
    • Volunteers 18 and older can learn more or enroll be visiting https://UWvteu.org|UWvteu.org]], or calling 206-520-4212.


  • Tacoma city council will hold its regular meeting tonight at 5pm.
    • It will be streamed online at tvtacoma.com and air on TV 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
    • Wednesday, Jan 6th : Asia Pacific Cultural Center in South Tacoma, and the Lakewood: State Emission Inspection Station
    • Thursday, Jan 7th: Sixth Avenue Apartments located at 2302 Sixth Ave in Tacoma, Charles Wright Academy, near University Place, and State Emission Inspection Station in Lakewood.
    • Friday, Jan 8: Bay Terrace Apartments at 2550 South G St., and State Emission Inspection Station in Lakewood.
    • Saturday, Jan 9: Tacoma MetroParks Vassault Park, Eatonville Middle School, Fort Steilacoom Park, and the State Emission Inspection Station in Lakewood.
    • 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
  • 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.