3/10: Wednesday Briefing

By rebecca No comments


  • We are in Phase 1B, tier 1 for vaccine eligibility.
  • Those eligible to schedule vaccine appointments include:
    • Pre-K through grade 12 teachers and staff who work in a K-12 school setting, including teachers, bus drivers, counselors, food service, administrative, and safety staff.
    • First responders, elders 65 years and up, longterm care residents, and those over 50 who live in multigenerational households who are all eligible.
  • Veterans of any age can also now get vaccinated through the VA by calling 206-716-5716.
  • By March 22, vaccine eligibility is expected to open up to pregnant people and those with disabilities that put them at high risk, as well as people who work in certain settings where they interact with many people such as agriculture, food processing, grocery stores, public transit, firefighting, law enforcement, and incarceration facilities.
    • 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.
    • All other adults can expect to have vaccine access by the start of summer.
  • The website COVIDwa.com is not state-run but 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.


    • Individuals who are fully vaccinated can now gather indoors with fully vaccinated people in private residences without wearing a mask, two weeks after your final dose
    • Vaccinated individuals can also and gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household in private residences (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
    • All individuals, regardless of Vaccine status, should continue to wear masks when they’re in public, avoid crowd,s and take other precautions when gathering with unvaccinated people who are at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
    • If a vaccinated person has been around someone with COVID-19, they do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless they have symptoms.
    • However, if a vaccinated person lives in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and is around someone who has COVID-19, they should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if without symptoms.


  • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Dept reported 71 new COVID cases today and 2 COVID-related death
  • The 14-day case rate per 100,000 was 158.
  • The health dept is holding a series of community-led vaccination events for individuals who are members of communityies disproportionately affected by COFID illness in Pierce County.
    • These include indigenous, Black, People of color; LGBTQ+ folks who meet vaccine eligibility requirements; people from low income household, immigrants & refugees, people from rural communities; those with technology barriers, including the elderly.
    • One upcoming vaccine event for these people will be held on March 12 at PLU.
    • Call 253-649-1412 8am-4:30pm if you need help registering yourself or someone for this vaccine opportunity.
  • 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.
  • Pierce County tenants struggling to pay rent can apply for rental and utility assistance at piercecountywa.gov/housinghelp.
    • Residents without internet access can call 2-1-1 to apply.
  • On March 12th starting at 11 am, The Salvation Army will be holding a drive-thru food box distribution event for anyone in need.
    • Individuals and families in vehicles may go to the Washington State Fair fairgrounds Gold Lot at 110 9th Ave. SW. on Friday to receive food free of charge, with no eligibility requirements.
  • While high schools in the South Puget Sound League have already begun football games after a much delayed and abbreviated fall sports season, North Puget Sound League schools begin this week.
    • Per rules, limited or no spectators are permitted, so if you see sports practices or games in session please respect health and safety guidelines.
    • Also, school tracks and fields are closed to the public during school hours
  • Hazard pay for grocery workers across all unincorporated parts of King County will take effect March 22nd, once the King County Council emergency measure is signed by the County executive.


  • St. Leo’s Food Bank on Yakima Ave in Tacoma is closed indefinitely due to being vandalized and burglarized overnight.
    • 1,200 children’s school lunches and stores of produce were contaminated and lost.
    • More information, including ways to volunteer or contribute, are found at https://foodconnection.org
    • Individuals who are often served by St. Leo’s can call 211 to get linked to other emergency food services until normal operations resume.
    • Nonperishable food donations can be dropped off at 1323 S. Yakima Ave. in Tacoma
    • All attendees must wear a mask at all times, remain at least six feet apart during the meeting, and complete a health survey attesting that they do not have COVID-19 symptoms, have not been exposed to COVID-19 nor are awaiting results of a COVID-19 test.
    • Only 30 seats are available by reservation at tacomaschools.org
    • Board study sessions will continue to occur virtually
  • Sixth graders in Tacoma schools began in-person learning 2 afternoon per week as of today.
  • On Monday, March 15, high school seniors will start in-person learning in their cohorts two afternoons a week – either Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday.


  • 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:
    • 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.