3/5: Friday Briefing

By rebecca No comments


  • Washington Employment Security Department has received reports of a recent text message scam, claiming to be ESD.
    • If you receive a text claiming to be from the state unemployment office urging you to click a link because your immediate attention is required, don’t click on the link–it is a scam.
    • More info available at ESD.wa.gov.
    • The department has have several on-demand webinars and upcoming live webinars for helping folks navigate unemployment claims
    • See esd.wa.gov/uiwebinars for more info.


  • Lots of changes have come quick this week regarding vaccines in our state:
  • About 8% of Washingtonians have been fully vaccinated against the virus, and 14% have received at least one dose.
  • The FDA has given emergency use authorization to the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and the Western States Working Group has authorized it so it will be available in Washington.
    • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department anticipates receiving doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as soon as next week.
  • Those currently eligible to receive COVID shots now include k-12 education staff and childcare workers, per a recent directive by the president and governor.
  • Veterans of any age can also now get vaccinated through the VA by calling 206-716-5716.
  • Educators and vets join healthcare workers, first responders, elders 65 years and up, longterm care residents, and those over 50 who live in multigenerational households who are all eligible.
  • The governor announced today that he expects that by March 22, vaccine eligibility will open up to pregnant people and those with disabilities that put them at high risk, as well as people who work in certain settings such as agriculture, food processing, grocery stores, public transit, firefighters, law enforcement, and workers in prisons and jails.
    • That tier of eligibility will not include restaurant workers.
    • By April 12, the governor’s office expects to open vaccine eligibility to people age 16 and older with two or more medical conditions that put them at higher risk for severe COVID illness complications, as well as anyone over 50 who had not been previously eligible.
    • People living in correctional facilities and certain group home settings are slated to become eligible by April 26th.
  • The website COVIDwa.com has been a valuable resource for eligible individuals struggling to access vaccine appointments.
  • 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 70 new COVID cases today and 3 COVID-related deaths
  • The 14-day case rate per 100,000 was 169
  • Individuals who received a first-dose vaccine at one of the health department’s community vaccine events should have received an email with info for their second dose.
    • Those who can’t locate an email should call (253) 649-1412.


  • The Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective is hosting a free laundry day tomorrow, March 6th, starting at noon.
    • Individuals in need can have their laundry paid for the 38th St. Laundromat at 1221 S. 38th; at Laundry Mart located 5401 6th Ave; at Main Street Laundry at 9th and MLK Jr Way; at the 6th Ave Speedwash at 1318 6th Ave, and at 72nd Laundry located at 7301 13th Ave Ct E.


  • 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 Mar 6: Eatonville HS and UW Tacoma
    • Sun Mar 7: Key Peninsula Civic Center in Vaughn, and the Eastside Community Center in Tacoma
    • Mon Mar 8: Bay Terrace Apts in Tacoma
    • Wed Mar 10:Sprinker Rec Center
    • Thu Mar 11: Buckley Fire Dept, Asia Pacific Cultural Ctr
    • Fri Mar 12: PLU, TCC
    • 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