Good morning neighbors,
There is a lot to share this morning. First, I know many are feeling frustrated by the rollback to Phase 2 that takes effect tomorrow, April 16. Our restaurants were starting to feel a little more normal, and many businesses were seeing an increase in on-site purchasing under the less restrictive Phase 3.
To help get us back to Phase 3 we need to see average case counts drop below 200 cases per 100,000 people and hospitalizations below 5 over a seven-day period.
Like the surge we saw after the winter holidays, we have a surge due to new variants being present, which appear to be more contagious, according to health officials. In addition, we had many enjoying spring breaks, sports groups meeting up and lots of basketball to watch. Health officials believe these increased interactions without following the recommended health guidelines is the result of the surge.
If we want to return to Phase 3 (and hopefully beyond!), we must go back to what worked: masking up any time we are not with our household members, washing hands often, staying home if sick or if you think you were exposed, and getting tested. We are all feeling the need to get out of homes and see people.
We have been able to get this under control multiple times, then we relax and it comes right back. However, unlike the last time this happened, we didn’t have a vaccine. Now we do!
Starting today (April 15), ANYONE over the age of 16 is eligible to get vaccinated. We know that there is still not enough vaccine supply in the county or country to cover everyone, but if you are eligible, reach out to your healthcare provider or contact the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department to see when there will be clinics near you.
Pierce County’s Department of Emergency Management is also hosting mass vaccination sites. Find out more at findyourcovidshot.com. As events open, information will be updated at the findyourcovidshot.com site.
On Tuesday, we passed Ordinance 2021-29, which Council initiated in response to the rollback. This directs the Economic Development team to provide grants up to $10,000 to small businesses across the county that are impacted by the rollback. I was pleased to see this work done so quickly, and the goal is to get the application process started by the end of this week.
Find out more information about the Rollback Relief Grant program, including the application, online. Deadline to apply is April 23 at 5 p.m.
Did you know you can access our county Law Library online for free?
The law affects every aspect of our lives, from licensing our pets to running our small businesses. Knowledge is power. Begin with the Lexis eBook Digital Library.
- Free to use; just complete a short registration form.
- Lexis eBooks offer premium Washington state legal materials and national treatises 24/7.
- Check-out books & download them on your smart phone, tablet or an internet connected device.
- Download the Lexis Digital Library app to read your materials offline.
I’m excited to add this as a recurring section of my e-newsletters. It will never be a comprehensive list, as we have so many great organizations across the community holding events, but thought I would try and highlight things going on that might catch your eye.
- Spring Clean-Up in Lakewood: The city of Lakewood is trying to ease some of the buildup of large items and trash across our area. Thank you to the city of Lakewood for hosting this event. Lakewood Spring Clean-Up is April 17th (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.) & April 18th (8 a.m. to noon) Please follow the link to see the rules and what kinds of things will be accepted!
- Giving Tree Events: Because we know how important it is to have trees and flowers for pollinators, there are two events happening where you can receive a free tree and pollinator seeds. Follow this link to learn more about the Giving Tree Events.
- April 17th (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at Chambers Creek Regional Park.
- April 22nd (1 p.m. to 6 p.m.) at Sprinker Recreation Center.
Recruiting Community Members
We have an opening for a community member on the county Planning Commission. This advisory board works to advise the Council on legislative actions dealing with planning and land use. We have a lot of growth in the 6th District and I want to make sure we fill our seat so that we don’t have any meetings without a voice representing our district. If you are interested, please email me and we can start the process. Want to learn more about it and see meeting schedules? Follow this link: Planning Commission.
Hope and Help
As we approach the middle of April, I can only look back to where we were a year ago and hope that in April of 2022, we will have found our new normal.: The majority of residents are vaccinated, all businesses are running at full speed and we really truly can say COVID-19 is in the rearview mirror. I know it will take a long time to recover from the stress, health and financial burden of this pandemic, but I remain hopeful.
I will end with my gentle reminders (the teacher in me won’t let it go), masking works, stay home if sick and please take care of yourself. If you need help or know someone that needs help, please reach out.
f you go to the middle of this Covid-19 Help Page, you will find a landing page of all the resources we currently have just through the county.
We have amazing community partners, but they can only help if they know.