2/8: Monday Briefing

By rebecca No comments


  • The governor signed into law today legislation that will increase minimum unemployment benefits for workers starting July 1st.
    • The new law also relieves employers of individual benefit charges for claims that occurred between March 22 and May 30 of 2020
  • A special open enrollment period for health insurance in WA will run from Feb. 15 through May 15 for people who are uninsured.
  • Personal data of individuals who used Washington State Auditor systems may have been subject to a security breach.
    • Individuals whose information may have been compromised can contact the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions at dfi.wa.gov, or call 1-877-RING-DFI (877-746-4334)


  • Washingtonians can find out if they are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines online at FindYourPhaseWA.org.
  • COVIDvaccineWA.org is also a great source of vaccine info from the State Department of Health, and https://TPCHD.org/vaxToTheFuture is the webpage for the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department.
  • The following health systems and clinics in our region are offering vaccine appointments for eligible individuals:
    • MultiCare, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, Kaiser Permanente, Sea Mar, Orting Family Practice, OM Life Health Clinic, University Place Medical Clinic, Tacoma General, St. Joseph’s, International Health Community Services, Fred Hutchinson, Evergreen Health, and Seattle Children’s Hospital.
    • UW Medicineis pausing further first-dose vaccines until further notice. Anyone who has already made an appointment with UW medicine will be able to get first and second vaccine doses.
  • Many pharmacies also have vaccine programs by appointment, including Safeway Albertsons, Kirk’s Pharmacy, Lincoln Pharmacy, QFC, and Acts Pharmacy and Healthcare Services.
  • Community vaccination sites for vulnerable, underserved individuals are now open at the ShoWare Center in Kent and at the General Services Administration (GSA) Complex in Auburn.
  • The Puyallup Tribal Health Authority has vaccines for adult tribal members, PTHA patients, and their adult household members.
  • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Dept urges residents to follow the department’s social media posts and keep an eye on their website for more opportunities for pop-up vaccination events.
    • Individuals can also sign up for email notifications in advance of future COVID-19 community vaccine events by going to tpchd.org/notify.


  • The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Dept reported 119 new COVID 19 cases today.
  • The 2-week covid-19 case rate per 100,000 people in Pierce County was 332.
  • Starting this past weekend, the Tacoma Pierce County Health Dept has discontinued reporting COVID cases and deaths over the weekend and on holidays. That will mean Monday’s total case rates might appear high, since it will include multiple days’ worth of data.
  • The South King Emotional Wellness League will be hosting free 45-minute virtual counseling sessions on Wednesday, Feb 10.
  • Pierce County Parks and Metro Parks Tacoma are collaborating to enhance Specialized Recreation programs in Pierce County for individuals with varying developmental and intellectual disabilities.


  • Tacoma Public Schools plans to increase in-person schooling for kindergarten, first and second grade students from 2 to 4 days per week, based on the anticipation that Pierce County’s COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 will continue to stay below 350.
    • Today, Feb. 8: First graders started in-person learning in cohorts two days a week (this includes older students in multiage classrooms with first graders, such as Montessori)
    • Feb. 16: Second graders will start in-person, learning in cohorts two days a week, and Kindergarten students are expected to attend in-person learning four days a week
    • Feb. 22: First graders are expected to attend in-person learning four days a week
    • March 1: Second graders are expected to attend in-person learning four days a week
    • Due to space constraints, only kindergarten, only students in grades k-2 are expected to return to school four days a week this school year.
    • When all other grades start learning in person, they will do it in their cohorts, two days per week, through the end of the school year.
    • More information is available at tacomaschools.org
  • In Federal Way, PreK, kindergarteners, 1st graders and some students in grade 2-12 receiving special education services whose parents or guardians have selected the hybrid model as their preferred option can plan to attend in-person hybrid schooling on Monday, March 1, 2021.
    • More info at fwps.org
  • In Fife, 1st and 2nd grade students return in A/B hybrid cohorts this week.
    • The week of February 15th – 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students are slated to return in cohorts
    • The week of February 22nd – 6th and 7th grade students are slated to return in cohorts (if case counts in Pierce County are <350 cases/100K)
    • The week of March 1st – 8th graders and high schoolers might return in cohorts (if case counts in Pierce County are ~200 cases/100K)
    • More info at fifeschools.com


  • There are numerous free COVID-19 testing sites in our region, including at Multicare, Franciscan, and Kaiser facilities; at Community Healthcare and SeaMar Community Health Centers; at Cheney Stadium, at the Lakewood State Emissions Testing Center, and more.
    • You can go to coronavirus.wa.gov and follow links for “Find Covid Testing Near Me” for specific locations.
    • In addition to permanent regular testing locations, The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Dept’s mobile testing events this weekend and next week are as follows:
      • Sat Feb 6: UW Tacoma, Journey Church
      • Sun Feb 7: Center at Norpoint, Dacca Park
      • Mon Feb 8: Ft. Steilacoom Park, Prairie Ridge Community Center
      • Wednesday, Feb10: 6th Ave Apartments
      • Thursday, Feb 11: West Pierce Fire & Rescue in University Place, Eatonville High School
      • Friday, Feb 12: Eatonville High School, Pierce County Library at 3005 112th St. E.
    • No ID is required, tests are free and open to anyone, and most testing runs 10am-3pm, except the Lakewood station goes till 5:30), but check TPCHD.org for specifics
    • Results are available in 3-7 days
  • Three Walgreens pharmacies also now offer free drive-up rapid antigen testing for people Ages 3 and up:
    • In Tacoma at 3737 Pacific Ave
    • In Lakewood at 8224 STEILACOOM BLVD SW
    • In Kent at 27112 132ND AVE SE
    • Patients using this testing method must pre-register online at Walgreens.com/COVID19Testing.