Health + Public Services

 

Learn about health resources and stay informed with public service updates.

City of Tacoma Media and Communications Announcements

Visit this site to stay informed of what the city is doing to ensure continuity of services, learn of any changes or delays to services, and to read updates from the Mayor’s office.

Kroger Testing Event at the Tacoma Dome

  • The site is expected to operate between May 19-21 and 26-28 from 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Kroger Health anticipates they will be able to have approximately 250 vehicles per day pass through the site.
  • Tacoma area residents MUST register at krogerhealth.com/covidtesting or call 1-888-852-2567 (select option 1, then option 3).
  • Those eligible will next select a testing location and appointment time. Then, registrants will receive an email confirmation with pre-appointment paperwork to complete. When a person arrives for their test, they should have their photo ID ready and should leave their window rolled up for check-in, until a health-care practitioner comes to the car to administer the test.
  • For the testing, patients remain in their cars throughout the process, which is completed in just a few minutes using self-administered test kits.
  • The test uses self-administered nasal swabs, which are less painful and designed to increase safety.
  • This onsite testing is supported with laboratory services provided by eTrueNorth, a contractor of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Test results are expected within approximately 48 hours and will be provided by Kroger Health by phone and email.
  • The City is providing the use of the Dome.

Parking Services

Paid on-street parking has been temporarily suspended until further notice. During this time, parking enforcement actions will be limited to life safety violations throughout the city (i.e. parking on sidewalks, crosswalks, etc.).

Two programs being are offered by Parking Services – Temporary ADA Parking and Temporary Short Term Loading Zones – response to the ever-changing circumstances around COVID-19.

  • Temporary ADA Parking: For users who have an ADA placard, we may be able to provide some relief by establishing a temporary ADA sign/parking space (for qualifying person of the general public to use) near your place of work. The signs will be deployed on a request basis and there is no cost to the requester. Individuals/companies that want to support the establishment of an available-to-the-public temporary ADA parking space (with regulatory sign) can either call (253) 591-5371 or fill out this online form.
  • Temporary Short Term Loading Zones: To support the evolving needs of the community and particularly food service businesses through this unprecedented time, the city is making available temporary Loading Zone Signs to help facilitate pick-up activities. Businesses interested in having a temporary loading zone sign, call (253) 591-5371 or fill out this online form.

Planning and Development Services

As of Wednesday, March 18th, the permitting counter will be closed for an indefinite period of time.  Although this temporary counter closure means in-person may not be available, please be assured that PDS will continue to accept applications, review and issue development permits, and schedule inspections, primarily through our online permitting system. In addition to granting extensions on all building and development permits until June 29, 2020, PDS offering virtual meetings and inspections. Please visit this link to learn more.

City of Tacoma expands use of temporary signage to support business visibility

New regulations have been released on the use of temporary signs during the COVID-19 emergency. This rule will terminate automatically on September 30, 2020, or when the City of Tacoma lifts its state of emergency related to COVID-19, whichever date is later.

Businesses in Tacoma, particularly small businesses, are struggling to maintain visibility in the current emergency. Businesses that remain open (usually for delivery services or curb-side pickup) may be surrounded by closed business, may be hard to locate, and require additional visibility. One way to address the issue is to allow for additional temporary signage at a business so that their storefront is easily seen by customers. Click here to learn more.

Tacoma Pierce County Health Department

  • How to prepare for COVID-19 in your business
  • COVID-19 guidance for Pierce County employers

Workforce Central

In response to COVID-19, Workforce Central is maintaining a central repository of food & supplies sources, school closures, legal assistance, and more.

United Way 2-1-1

2-1-1 helps connect you to community resources statewide.
Looking for help? Dial the number 2-1-1 or use the link above to search now.

Graduate Tacoma + Tacoma Urban League

Their portal provides Tacoma families and youth with an online directory of resources they can access in this unprecedented time. Visit this page to find transportation resources, educational tools, and more.

Puget Sound Energy Responds to COVID-19

Puget Sound Energy is taking measurable actions to help our customers and communities during this coronavirus situation.

Pierce Transit Updates

Governor Jay Inslee’s Office

The Governor’s proclamations page can be found here.

Gov. Jay Inslee May 19 announced the state’s plan for all elective procedures to resume. Each medical or dental practice will assess their own readiness and their communities’ COVID-19 activity to determine whether, and to what degree, they will reopen.

“Our health care system was one of the first in the nation to be hit with COVID-19 cases when there was much we were still learning about the novel virus. Because of the great work of our health care system and communities, we managed the peak of COVID-19 activity in April without having a crisis in our hospitals,” Inslee said. “This plan was developed with many partners in our health care delivery system — including nurses, surgeons, pediatricians, dentists, community health clinics and hospitals.”

Aside from being determined by the COVID-19 activity in different regions of the state, the reopening of health care services are based on three standards of care. Readiness will be determined by the availability of PPE, hospital capacity and more.

Under this plan, each health care or dental provider must meet certain criteria to be able to begin performing elective procedures. Each provider evaluates their readiness to begin and must maintain standards to continue to see patients.

Read the rest of the story on the governor‘s Medium page.

*Update: On April 27th, Governor Inslee announced a partial re-opening of outdoor recreational activities. As of Tuesday, May 5, some outdoor recreation will be allowed with appropriate safety precautions including: fishing; hunting; playing golf; day use at state parks, state public lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources and at state Fish and Wildlife areas. Read more here.  ​​

  • $200 million to State agencies, local governments and tribal governments who are responding to COVID-19
  • $25 million to assist businesses with unemployment impacts
  • Increases hospital capacity to address greater health care demand
  • Reduces credentialing delays for health care workers
  • Helps ensure providers can treat the people who need care
  • Funds virus testing at the University of Washington
  • Creates a plan to enforce social distancing efforts for Washingtonians experiencing homelessness
  • Allows school employees to access benefits due to school closures, quarantines or if the employee’s childcare is closed
  • Adjusts shared leave program requirements
  • Imposes statewide moratorium on evictions of residential tenants for the next 30 days starting on March 18, 2020
  • Allows the State Utilities and Transportation Commission to enable the use the of ratepayer dollars to provide economic assistance to customers affected by COVID-19, such as those out of work or working significantly reduced hours
  • Waives the one-week waiting period to receive unemployment insurance
  • Allocates up to $5 million of the Governor’s Strategic Reserve funds as grants to small businesses across the state to help prevent closure due to COVID-19; State Department of Commerce to coordinate an application process
  • Authorizes the State Department of Revenue (DOR) to waive late filing fees for property tax exemption renewals; business license renewal late fees; and excise tax interest on B&O, real estate sales and other taxes DOR administers, including interest related to tax preferences for biotechnology and medical device manufacturing—all tax-related measures are retroactive to February 29, 2020
  • Directs the State Department of Social and Health Services to expand eligibility for the Family Emergency Assistance Program to include families without children
    Suspends rules regarding nursing home assessment requirements to allow for faster admissions and suspends long-term care inspections and surveys on particular timelines except in specific circumstances
  • Requests cabinet agencies to be led by the Employment Security Department and the Department of Commerce to support economic retention, resilience and recovery efforts
  • Waives restrictions on hours worked for delivery drivers carrying groceries, medical supplies and equipment, pharmaceuticals, fuel and pet food and supplies; drivers must have a current safety rating of “satisfactory” and cannot extend their hours if they feel fatigued, ill or have been on duty for more than the allowed number of consecutive hours
  • Emphasizes behavioral health community assistance for those who need emotional or mental health support, or treatment resources for substance use (call the Washington Recovery Help Line at 1-866-789-1511)

Washington Health Benefit Exchange

One in four Washingtonians get health and dental coverage through the Washington Healthplanfinder at wahealthplanfinder.org or the mobile app WAPlanfinder. Individuals can receive free help applying from an expert in their community at wahealthplanfinder.org/find-expert-advice.html.

Washington State Coronavirus Response

Central repository of information regarding:

  • Business and workers
  • Childcare/K-12/Higher education
  • Health
  • Government emergency actions
  • You and your family
  • Travelers and commuters

Washington State Department of Health

  • Frequently asked questions about symptoms and testing
  • Resources and recommendations
  • Current situation in Washington
  • Being prepared
  • Other information

Universal Hotspot Access

The Washington State Broadband Office estimates over 300 new drive-in Wi-Fi hotspots are coming online statewide through an initiative to bring free public broadband internet access to all residents. 600 public hotspots will soon be available to keep Washington communities connected.

For complete information and a map of locations, visit www.driveinwifi.wa.gov. The map will be updated as more sites come online.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Updated 4/30/20: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published reopening guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes. Visit this site to learn more.

In addition, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers resources on:

  • What you should know
  • Situation updates
  • Information for Communities, schools and businesses
  • Travel

United States Government

Comprehensive Official verified and updated Information of all aspects of the Federal Covid-19 Response.
Government Response to Coronavirus, COVID-19 | USAGov
Government Response to Coronavirus, COVID-19. Learn about international travel restrictions, how you can prepare for coronavirus, and what the U.S. government is doing in response to the virus.

www.usa.gov

 

Ready / Listo

Ready is a National public service campaign designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters.

Congressional Actions

H.R. 266: Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (Approved)

4/22/20 – The following items are included in the most recent coronavirus relief bill passed by the Senate. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the package Thursday 4/23/2020.

  • Adds $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, of which $60 billion will be reserved for small businesses without existing banking relationships
  • Adds $60 billion ($50 billion in loans and $10 billion in grants) to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) fund
  • Expands eligibility for EIDL funds to include farms and other agricultural programs
  • Adds $75 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers
  • Allocates $25 billion for coronavirus testing, $11 billion of which is earmarked for states and local governments for testing
  • Requires that the federal government create a strategic plan to assist states with testing
  • Does not add any other funding for state and local governments, or for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Additional Information:

Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Section by Section Summary

H. R. 748 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act–CARES Act (approved)

This $2.2 trillion stimulus package provides a large cash infusion to hospitals, broader access to COVID-19 testing, individual rebates, small business grants and loans and a wide variety of tax breaks.  View the US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship’s Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act.

We offer more details on the individual programs under the heading US Small Business Administration/Department of Treasury Programs below. 

H.R. 6201: Families First Coronavirus Act (Approved)

This bill responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for health care workers. Specifically, the bill provides FY2020 supplemental appropriations to the Department of Agriculture (USDA) for nutrition and food assistance programs, including

  • the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC);
  • the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP); and
  • nutrition assistance grants for U.S. territories.

H.R. 6074: Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (approved)

  • developing, manufacturing, and procuring vaccines and other medical supplies;
  • grants for state, local, and tribal public health agencies and organizations;
  • loans for affected small businesses;
  • evacuations and emergency preparedness activities at U.S. embassies and other State Department facilities; and
  • humanitarian assistance and support for health systems in the affected countries.  
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