3/17: Wednesday Briefing

By rebecca No comments


  • Remember that 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


  • We are now in Phase 1b, Tier 2 of vaccine eligibility!
  • Newly eligible people include pregnant people, as well as individuals with disabilities that put them at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness.
  • High-risk worker groups across several areas including grocery, agriculture, firefighting, and more.
  • People who are unsure if their disability puts them at greater risk are advised with their health care provider.
  • Anyone who supports the daily, functional and health needs of someone who is at high risk of COVID-19 illness due to advanced age, long term physical condition, co-morbidities, or developmental or intellectual disability is considered a health care worker and is therefore eligible as well. They can be licensed, unlicensed, paid, unpaid, formal or informal. The person for whom they are providing care can be an adult or child.
  • Veterans of any age can also now get vaccinated through the VA by calling 206-716-5716.
  • It is expected that tomorrow, March 17th, vaccine eligibility will open to pregnant people, individuals with disabilities that put them at high risk for COVID, 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 mid-April, 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.
    • All other adults can expect to have vaccine access by the start of summer.
  • Pierce County businesses or organizations with capacity to run or facilitate a community vaccination clinic can contact 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 governor has published his order regarding the resumption of in-person schooling that he’d announced last Friday.
  • All public schools in WA must offer 30% in-person instruction to Elementary school families by April 5th
  • They must offer middle and high school students the option for in-person schooling by April 19th
  • Districts may continue to offer fully remote or virtual instruction for families who want it.


  • The Tacoma Pierce County Health Dept reported 164 new COVID cases today and 1 new COVID-related death.
  • The 14-day case rate per 100,000 is 139.
  • The current Moratorium on residental rental evictions is set to expire on March 31st.
    • Anyone having trouble paying rent or utilities can apply for financial assistance by going to https://piercecountywa.gov/housinghelp or by calling 211 and asking to be referred to rental assistance.
    • Eligibility is open to those renting apartments or homes, renters staying in hotels or motels, people renting an RV space, those renting from a family member or friend or renting a room in a shared house, as well as those using a section 8 voucher.


  • 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. Testing events this week are:
    • Thur, Mar 18: Vassault Park
    • Fri Mar 19: Center at Norpoint and at Madrona Park in the Oakland neighborhood
    • 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 pharmacies also offer take-home self-testing kits or drive thru rapid antigen testing.