We must remain vigilant to combat COVID-19
Next week we say goodbye to July and welcome August. Under “normal” circumstances we would celebrate the arrival of summer by doing everything we can to soak up the long days and sunshine.
But this year is different. Instead of neighborhood gatherings, barbecues and summer festivals, we enter August with the knowledge that COVID-19 is on the rise again in our county and until we can contain the transmission of the virus, there is little to celebrate.
In July we saw record daily case numbers, we surpassed 100 deaths, and while more tests are occurring, the increase in positive cases is not solely a result of more testing.
According to the most recent data from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department:
- Clusters of cases are popping up throughout the county;
- Roughly a quarter of these cases are among residents 20 to 29 years old who make up 14 percent of the population;
- An increase of cases are secondary transmissions from Fourth of July gatherings, as well as instances where people are not practicing physical distancing or wearing face coverings; and
- More businesses are experiencing small numbers of cases.
Wearing face coverings in public, socially distancing and washing your hands are all key in reducing transmission. We must remain vigilant in these practices if we want to see more business open and children return to school with in-person teaching.
The health department offers tips for what we can do to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in its Reliable Source blog
.View the most recent Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department COVID-19 data online.
Did you know Pierce County has mobile COVID-19 testing stations?
With the help of CARES Act funds the county purchased two mobile trailers to bring free
COVID-19 tests to the community. Mobile testing is important so residents in high-risk categories can get tested – even those without symptoms.
Testing is occurring in all parts of the county, including rural areas where traveling to existing testing locations is difficult.
Get tested if you:
- Experience fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
- Were close to a person with COVID-19 or attended a gathering with many people.
- Are in an at-risk community including Alaska Native, American Indian, Black, Latinx, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islands.
Identification is not required to get tested. On-site volunteers will help with registration. Results are available in five to seven days.
Find upcoming testing sites online.
Pierce County received nearly $158 million in federal CARES Act funding to help with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the more than $111 million allocated by the County Council to-date, roughly $20.5 million has been disbursed to help with things like housing and rental assistance, business loans, distribution of personal protection equipment to local business, childcare support, homeless resources and veterans assistance programs, to name a few.
Looking for assistance? Click the links below for more information.
Pierce County Phase 2 information
Veteran Assistance Programs
Rental and housing assistance
Summer meal programs (United Way)
Childcare cost assistance
Learn more about how Pierce County is spending Cares Act funds
In other news
This week I introduced an ordinance that would authorize the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department to outfit its deputies with body cameras. I believe use of body cameras will enhance the public’s confidence in the operations of the Sheriff’s Department.
The ordinance will be reviewed by the council at an upcoming Council of the Whole meeting, with a date still to be determined.
How can I help? Let me know
While the COVID-19 pandemic is serious, I strongly believe we can get through this together by remaining calm, informed and prepared.
I want to hear from you: How can I help?
Please send me an email at: [email protected]
Find up-to-date information at the links below:
Real Time Covid-19 Case Data
Washington State Department of Health
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
Where to go if you need help
Washington 2-1-1 (community resources)
Work Force Central (employment assistance and job listings)
WA ST Unemployment Claims
Crystal Judson Family Justice Center (domestic violence help)
Small Business Assistance
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
Pierce County Economic Development
City of Tacoma Economic Development