2/26: Friday Briefing

By rebecca No comments


  • State-level updates on COVID-19 can be found online in multiple languages at coronavirus.wa.gov, and lots of COVID data displays are available at doh.wa.gov/CovidDataDashboard.
  • Going to wa211.org online or dialing 211 will link you to all sorts of resources for social, health, and financial assistance.
  • Dialing 311 will connect you to the City of Tacoma
  • The state’s Coronavirus hotline is 1-800-525-0127–it’s open 7 days a week 6am-6pm. Mondays have extended hours till 10pm!
  • You can also text the hotline at 211-211


  • No regions in WA will progress to Phase 3, but neither will any region revert to phase 1. That means economic operations will continue as they have across the state for the next two weeks.
  • The Washington State Department of Health is now publishing a weekly coronavirus sequencing and variant reports that summarize genome sequencing coverage of Washington SARS-CoV-2 specimens from multiple laboratories across the US and our state.
    • The report will provide data that include breakouts by county and demographics, and will compare prevalence of new strains.
    • This report will be posted to the DOH online dashboard and will be updated every Thursday.
  • The State Department of Health also released the latest statewide situation report on COVID-19 yesterday.
    • While trends in cases, hospitalizations and deaths are largely continuing to decline, the state is detecting increasing numbers of cases of the B.1.1.7 variant that spreads more easily than other strains.
    • The department predicts that case numbers and hospitalizations will likely increase and could strain health care resources.
    • Case rates have remained high across the state but continue trending downwards– No counties had rates above 500 new cases per 100,000 people.
    • The estimated percentage of people with active COVID-19 infections is only slightly lower than the peak estimates during the first two waves of disease in late March and mid-July 2020, indicating that WA still has a lot of infected people who may need health care and could be spreading the virus to others.


  • Washington state is administering more than 26,000 vaccine doses per day on average, with a capacity of up to 45,000 doses per day once more vaccine is allocated to the state.
  • Washington state expects to receive about 60,000 Johnson and Johnson vaccine doses as soon as the FDA grants emergency use authorization for the new option. Initial studies have shown that the J&J vaccine, which requires a single dose, offer 66% effectiveness from severe COVID disease.
    • An FDA advisory group is slated to meet tomorrow to give recommendations on approval.
  • Washingtonians can find out if they are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines online at FindYourPhaseWA.org or CovidVaccineWa.org, which now also features a vaccine locator.
    • No further eligibility tiers or phases have opened up yet, but healthcare workers, first responders, elders 65 years and up, longterm care residents, and those over 50 who live in multigenerational households are all currently eligible.
    • The website COVIDwa.com has been a valuable resource for eligible individuals struggling to access vaccine appointments.
    • Eligible King County residents can seek appointment online at kingcounty.gov/vaccine or call 206-263-9600
    • Pierce County residents can check TPCHD.org/vaxtothefuture for providers offering appointments and for community vaccine.
    • Pierce County businesses or organizations with capacity to run or facilitate a community vaccination clinic can contact Gabe Moa-ali-i with the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department by calling 253-649-1412.
  • Individuals can also go to coronavirus.wa.gov to search for providers, clinics, and pharmacies that may be offering vaccine appointments elsewhere in the state.


  • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Dept reported 167 new COVID cases today and 4 deaths due to Covid.
  • This is an increase from both yesterday and Wednesday.
  • The 14-day case rate per 100,000 was 198
  • Several high school football games in our region were cancelled due to positive COVID-19 test results within programs
    • Puyallup vs. Rogers, Eatonville vs. Washington, Orting vs. Franklin Pierce, Gig Harbor vs. Graham-Kapowsin, and Lakes vs. Stadium are all cancelled
    • HS Sports just began limited practices and competitions in our region in the last 2 weeks.


  • 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 offers free mobile testing events. The remaining ones this week include:
    • Sat, Feb 27: Key Peninsula Longbranch Improvement Club and the Bay Terrace Apartments in Tacoma
    • Sun, Feb 28: The STAR Center in Tacoma
    • Mon, Mar 1: Pierce College in Puyallup, and the Pierce County Library branch at 3005 112th St. E.
    • Wed, Mar 3: Eatonville HS
    • Thur, Mar 4: Rainier View Christian Church in Parkland
    • Fri, Mar 5: Narrows Plaza Bowl in University Place and Centro Latino in Hilltop
    • Testing runs 10am-3pm.
    • If you need later hours, the Lakewood State Emissions Inspection Station is open till 5:30pm
    • If your business or organization has the capacity to serve as a mobile testing site, get in touch with Tony Smith of the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department by emailing TSmith@TPCHD.org.
  • Some Walgreens pharmacies also now offer free drive-up rapid antigen testing for people Ages 3 and up, including the Walgreens at 38th & Pacific in Tacoma