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Latest News on Coronavirus (COVID-19) 
Last Updated August 19, 2021 at 10:00 AM
  
Inslee Announces Educator Vaccination Requirement and Statewide Indoor Mask Mandate (August 18, 2021)
Gov. Jay Inslee today announced a vaccination requirement for employees working in K-12, most childcare and early learning, and higher education, as well as an expansion of the statewide mask mandate to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. 
 
K -12 educators, school staff, coaches, bus drivers, school volunteers and others working in school facilities will have until October 18 to be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment. The requirement includes public, private and charter schools, and comes as schools across the state prepare to return for the 2021–2022 school year amid rapidly increasing case and hospitalization numbers. This does not impact students, regardless of age.
Inslee also announced a vaccine requirement for employees in Washington’s higher education institutions, as well as for most childcare and early learning providers who serve children from multiple households.
 
Read Inslee's full announcement
 
Inslee Announces Vaccination Requirement for Most State Employees, Private Health Care and Long-term Care Workers (August 9, 2021)
Gov. Jay Inslee announced a requirement for most state workers, and on-site contractors and volunteers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. State employees and workers in private health care and long-term care settings will have until October 18 to be fully vaccinated.

The requirement applies to state workers, regardless of teleworking status. This applies to executive cabinet agencies, but the governor encouraged all others such as higher education, local governments, the legislative branch, other statewide elected officials and organizations in the private sector to do the same.

The announcement comes as Washington is experiencing a severe increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations in every county, due to the Delta variant, with the overwhelming majority of cases and hospitalizations being among unvaccinated Washingtonians.

This new requirement includes well-defined exemptions to the vaccine. Individuals with legitimate medical reasons or sincerely held religious reasons will be exempt. The exemptions do not include personal or philosophical objections.
 
Employees who refuse to be vaccinated will be subject to dismissal from employment for failing to meet legal job qualifications. The state will work with labor organizations on meeting collective bargaining obligations and adhering to civil service rules. The City of Seattle and King County also announced a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for their employees.
 
Read Inslee's full announcement
 
City of Tacoma Facilities Begin Phased Reopening to the Public (August 2, 2021)
With the statewide reopening associated with the lifting of COVID-19 regulations at the end of June 2021, the City of Tacoma will begin a phased reopening of in-person services to the public with limited hours.
 
This week, multiple city services begin reopening to the public with in-person services. Starting today, walk-in counter service at the TacomaFIRST 311 Customer Support Center will be open 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. For more information about Tax & License, the Planning and Development Services Permitting Counter, in-person meetings, and more call 311 or visit visit this web page for updates.

Inslee Announces Eviction Moratorium “Bridge” 
Gov. Jay Inslee announced a “bridge” proclamation today between the eviction moratorium and the housing stability programs put in place by the Legislature. The bridge is effective July 1 through September 30. More than $650 million of federal relief dollars allocated to assist renters is predicted to be available beginning in July. This is in addition to the $500 million dollars previously released by the Department of Commerce to local governments for rental assistance and will help more than 80,000 landlords and renters. 
 
“As we all know, COVID has had a significant economic impact on our state and a lot of Washingtonians are still experiencing financial hardships. That is why I put an eviction moratorium in place last year,” Inslee said during a press conference Thursday. “These are all reasonable steps and will help ensure that renters and landlords have the opportunity to receive support and resources that are available to them.”
 
The eviction moratorium bridge will allow for a transition to the tenant protections established in SB 5160, including the Eviction Resolution pilot programs and the Right to Counsel program for indigent tenants. The bridge is not an extension of the existing eviction moratorium, first declared in March 2020. Under the new order, new provisions will support renters and landlords until resources and programs become available.
 
For past rent due from February 29, 2020 through July 31, 2021, landlords are prohibited from evicting a tenant until there is an operational rental assistance program and eviction resolution program in place in their county. Additionally, landlords are prohibited from treating past unpaid rent or other charges as an enforceable debt until the landlord and tenant have been provided with an opportunity to resolve nonpayment through an eviction resolution pilot program.
 
Beginning August 1, renters are expected to pay full rent, reduced rent negotiated with landlord, or actively seek rental assistance funding. Landlords may only evict a tenant if none of those actions are being taken but must offer the tenant a reasonable re-payment plan before beginning the eviction process. Tenants must also be provided, in writing, the services and support available.
 
Hotels and motels, Airbnbs, long-term care facilities and other non-traditional housing are exempt from the order. 
 
Everyone must remain committed to the fight against COVID-19 with more variants in circulation and cases on the rise. 
Gov. Inslee announced Pierce County doesn’t meet requirements to remain in Phase 3 of the Healthy Washington–Roadmap to Recovery plan. We’ll move back to Phase 2 effective April 16. The next evaluation is May 3. Read more in this news release.  
 
Department of Health adopting CDC guidance on safe behaviors post-vaccine
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is adopting the guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding post-vaccine behavior.
If someone has been fully vaccinated, they can:
  • Gather indoors with fully vaccinated people in private residences without wearing a mask 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.
The CDC is quite clear that vaccinated people should continue to wear masks when they're in public, avoid crowds and take other precautions when gathering with unvaccinated people who are at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
 
Tacoma Partners with Pierce County to Expand Rental Assistance Program-Applications Open March 8, 2021
There are documents and information you can start collecting now to prepare for submission. Additional information may need to be collected by the provider upon intake to determine eligibility, but before you start the application you should have:
  • Household information, including birthdays, for all household members
  • Income verification for all household members for each income source including 2020 tax return for entire household OR household W-2's, Unemployment statements, Alimony, child support, disability, retirement or VA benefits, Current or past pay stubs
  • COVID impact documentation including Proof of unemployment, Loss of wages, Loss of job, Unexpected increase in costs of childcare, etc.
  • Landlord name, email and phone number
  • Copy of lease or rental agreement
  • Statement from landlord with past due balance
  • If you're requesting utility assistance, provide copies of past due utility bills
    Utilities paid directly to your landlord will need to be included in the rent past due amount and a payment will be made to the landlord directly.
Apply Now for the Rental Assistance Program
  
In keeping with the City’s Welcoming Cities Policy, we will not be tracking or providing information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement about immigration or citizenship status.
 
Contact Information for the Rental Assistance Program
Visit piercecountywa.gov/housinghelp for more information about the program, eligibility and how to apply.
 
We are in Phase 2 of reopening.
Gov. Inslee released updated guidance to the "Healthy Washington—Roadmap to Recovery plan."
  
Beginning Feb. 1, restrictions on social gatherings and some businesses will relax as part of Phase 2.
 
Among the changes:
  • Pierce County indoor dining available 25% capacity, alcohol service and delivery and consumption must end at 11 p.m. close.
  • All other indoor activities, including religious and faith-based services must follow a 25% capacity limit.
  • Indoor and outdoor sports are permitted to hold league games and competitions, (no tournaments) maximum 200 including spectators.
  • Outdoor entertaining may host groups of up to 15 with the two-household limit.
  • Wedding and funeral ceremonies and indoor receptions may take place following the appropriate venue requirements.
 
City of Tacoma Launches Resurgence Business Loan Program in Support of Tacoma’s Small Businesses on January 27, 2021

In ongoing efforts to help local businesses during this COVID-related economic downturn, the City of Tacoma’s Community and Economic Development Department has launched a Resurgence Business Loan Program. This low-interest loan program is made possible by a Revolving Loan Fund award of $1,170,000 to the City from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Through the Resurgence Business Loan Program, applicants may request to borrow up to $25,000 and will not have to make payments until 2022. Neither collateral nor equity is required. Learn more at makeittacoma.com/resurgenceloan​.   
 
Inslee announces "Healthy Washington–Roadmap to Recovery"
Gov. Jay Inslee today announced “Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery,” a COVID-19 phased recovery plan. Beginning on January 11, the state will follow a regional recovery approach with every region starting in Phase 1.
 
Eviction Moratorium Extended Through March 31, 2021 
Governor Jay Inslee extended protections for renters as COVID-19 continues to impact the finances of Washingtonians statewide. The governor first proclaimed a moratorium on evictions in mid-March, then extended it in April, August and most recently in December 2020. For information about the State's housing and food resources, visit the State's Coronavirus web page. 
Inslee announces additional COVID-19 financial support 
Gov. Jay Inslee today announced additional financial support funds for families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor was joined by Lisa Brown, Department of Commerce director, for the announcement. 

In addition to funds announced on Sunday, the total new economic supports amount to $135 million. Included in that total is:
  • $70 million in business support grants. 
  • $30 million for the recovery loan program.
  • $20 million for rental assistance.
  • $15 million for energy bills for low-income households. 
Find more information on available business assistance here
 
City of Tacoma Launches ‘Celebrate Tacoma’
-- Searchable Database Encourages Support of Tacoma Businesses--  The City of Tacoma has launched Celebrate Tacoma, a searchable database of businesses that sell directly to consumers and are licensed and located within Tacoma’s city limits. Celebrate Tacoma highlights restaurants, local retailers and service businesses that have been especially hard hit by COVID-19.  To be included in Celebrate Tacoma, local retail, restaurant, café and service businesses are invited to participate in a brief survey.  
Businesses involved in selling guns, sexual products/services, gambling products restricted by federal law including cannabis, or tobacco products/ electronic cigarettes as well as those located outside Tacoma city limits will be unable to be featured in Celebrate Tacoma. The database is informational only and does not represent a recommendation or endorsement by the City.  
The Celebrate Tacoma database, as well as other resources supporting Tacoma’s businesses, are available at MakeitTacoma.com.
Inslee Issues Travel Advisory for Washington
Gov. Jay Inslee issued a travel advisory for Washington on November 13, 2020, recommending a 14-day quarantine for interstate and international travel and asks residents to stay close to home. Inslee joined California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in urging visitors entering their states or returning home from travel outside these states to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the virus. 
 
City of Tacoma Coronavirus Relief Fund Allocations to Date (August 20, 2020)
The City Manager's Office prepared a summary of the COVID-19-related funding sources available and how the City has allocated the funding to date. Read the City Manager's Memorandum to the Mayor and City Council.
Face Covering Requirements for Businesses Extends Statewide-Businesses Cannot Allow In or Serve Customers Not Wearing a Face Covering 
Governor Jay Inslee announced that no business may operate, allow a customer to enter a business, or conduct in-person business with a customer in any public setting unless the customer is wearing a face covering or meets at least one of the exceptions outlined in Order of the Secretary of Health 20-03. The extension went into effect on July 7, 2020.

Inslee Extends Proclamation Protecting High-Risk Workers (June 9, 2020)
Governor Jay Inslee announced the extension of a proclamation giving high-risk workers the right to protect themselves from COVID-19 without jeopardizing their employment status or loss of income. The proclamation provides older workers and those with underlying health conditions a series of rights and protections, including:
  • The choice of an alternative work assignment, including telework, alternative or remote work locations if feasible, and social distancing measures.
  • The ability to use any accrued leave or unemployment benefits if an alternative work assignment is not feasible and the employee is unable to safely work. Employers must maintain health insurance benefits while high risk employees are off the job.
  • Employers are prohibited from permanently replacing high-risk employees.
 Read the Governor's Proclamation for more information.
The City of Tacoma Establishes Rental Assistance Fund (May 13, 2020)
In response to a request from the community to establish a way for people to donate to the rental assistance program, we have opened the City of Tacoma Rental Assistance Fund with the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. Donations can now be made to the Rental Housing Fund to increase the amount of funding available for people who need rental housing assistance because of COVID-19 impacts. If you'd like to donate, visit our Compassionate Tacoma web page.
 
Greater Tacoma Community Foundation Disclosure: As a fund of Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, the Community Foundation has the authority to redirect distributions from the City of Tacoma Rental Assistance Fund if it becomes necessary to protect donor intent. Greater Tacoma Community Foundation (Tax ID #91-1007459) is located in Tacoma, WA and is registered with Washington State’s Charities Program. Additional information about the Community Foundation’s status is available by calling 800-332-4483 or visiting www.sos.wa.gov/charities.
 
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
Pierce County Approved to enter Phase 2 of Washington’s Safe Start Recovery Plan (June 5, 2020)
On Friday, June 5, the state secretary of health approved the county to move to Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start Recovery PlanRead the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department's announcement on the approval to move to Phase 2.
 
Criminals Exploiting COVID-19 to Commit Unemployment Fraud (May 15, 2020)
Unfortunately, during this stressful time, criminals are taking advantage of resources. Unemployment Fraud has become a nationwide issue. Tacoma Police Department (TPD) has outlined the steps you should follow if your identity has been stolen and if an unemployment claim has been opened without your consent. Read TPD's Guidelines on what to do if your identity has been stolen.
 
Gov. Inslee Unveils the State's 'Safe Start' Plan for Phased Re-Opening and Extends 'Stay Home, Stay Healthy' Through May 31 (May 4, 2020)
Governor Jay Inslee signed a new COVID-19 order on May 4 extending the 'Stay Home, Stay Healthy' order through May 31, 2020. He also announced the state’s 'Safe Start' plan, a phased approach to re-opening Washington’s economy. 'Safe Start' sets a careful approach to emerging from the pandemic. It allows for modifications of business closures and physical distancing measures while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19. Read More
City of Tacoma Launches T-Town Hall Virtual Community Series (April 30, 2020)
The City of Tacoma has launched T-Town Hall, a virtual community event series of four weekly conversations on issues of importance to the community during this unprecedented public health and economic crisis. Each event was hosted by our City Council Members and Mayor Woodards on Thursday evenings from 6-7:30 PM via Zoom. Read the T-Town Hall launch announcement.
DateCouncil Member HostsTopicVideo File  Link 
April 30Deputy Mayor Keith Blocker (District 3)
Kristina Walker (Position 8)
Rental Assistance Program and Tenant RightsEnglish Video 
May 7 Catherine Ushka (District 4)
Chris Beale (District 5)
ImmigrationEnglish Video 
Spanish Video 
May 14Robert Thoms (District 2)
Conor McCarthy (Position 7)
Economic Development English Video
Spanish Video
May 21John Hines (District 1)
Lillian Hunter (Position 6)
Education and ChildrenEnglish Video
Spanish Video
 
Report a Business Not in Compliance with 'Stay Home, Stay Healthy' Order
Please refer to the State of Washington's guidance on what's allowed to be opened and what should be closed and if you'd like to report a business that you believe has not been in compliance with Governor Jay Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order, please report it to the State of Washington. In the event that a complaint about a business is referred from the State of Washington back to the City of Tacoma, the City will then contact the business and communicate the need to comply as appropriate. If compliance still does not occur, the City may then need to refer the complaint back to the State of Washington, specifically the Attorney General's Office, for criminal or civil charges. Please note that violating Governor Inslee’s emergency orders can amount to a gross misdemeanor. 
  
Ways to Stay Engaged & Participate in Virtual Tacoma City Council Meetings
To comply with the 'Stay Home, Stay Healthy' Order, City Council meetings are not being conducted in-person. Community members can still participate in multiple ways. All council meetings will be broadcast live on TV Tacoma, tvtacoma.com and on Facebook LIVE. Meeting agendas can be found online.
 
For the regular Tuesday City Council meetings at 5 PM, you can:
  • Send in your public comments via email to cityclerk@cityoftacoma.org before 4 PM each Tuesday. Comments will be compiled and sent to the Council. 
  • Join the Zoom Meeting online or via the telephone by dialing (253) 215-8782 with the Meeting ID: 890 2715 0863.
If a special Friday City Council meeting on the city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic is scheduled, you can:
Call and listen in (audio only) by dialing (253) 215-8782 and enter the Meeting ID: 832 6587 6087
Water Flushing Tips from Tacoma Water for Homes and Businesses that Have Been Closed Due to Pandemic 
Flushing your water system now is important for homes and businesses that have been closed, or significantly reduced their water use, under Washington’s 'Stay Home, Stay Healthy' order. Corrosion particulates in the plumbing can accumulate, and chlorine residuals normally in the water to provide disinfection may have dissipated, which can cause bacteriological growth. Flushing removes the particulates and refreshes the water in the pipes with clean, chlorinated water from our distribution system.
 
Visit myTPU.org/waterflushing for steps to take to prepare your water pipes after periods of low flow or no-flow conditions.
 
Information for Event Producers from the Special Events Office 
Tacoma Venues & Events’ top priority is the health and safety of guests, clients and employees. The City’s Special Events Office is adhering to the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order and following the expert guidance of public health authorities. Read the City’s Special Events Office message to event producers regarding COVID-19.

'Messages from the Mayor' with Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards
In this video series of messages, Mayor Woodards shares information about what we are doing as a city to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Allows Certain Low-Risk Construction Projects to Restart (April 24, 2020)
Governor Inslee announced that certain low-risk construction projects can restart as long as they can comply with his COVID-19 Safety Plan. The safety plan was developed as part of a working group that included contractors and workers and includes requirements related to safety training, physical distancing, PPE, sanitation and cleanliness, monitoring employees for symptoms, and logging job site visitors. Read Mayor Woodards statement on this announcement.
 
Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP) Launched by WA Department of Social & Health Services (DSHS) (April 17, 2020)
Some WA residents can apply through DSHS for emergency cash assistance to help meet their immediate needs. For more info on DCAP and to apply, visit WashingtonConnection.org. Información en Español
 
New Regional Website Created to Respond to the Business Community’s Concerns Surrounding COVID-19
The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County to respond to the business community’s top concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic by developing a Rapid Response Team and the Rapid Response South Sound website co-sponsored by the City of Tacoma and other local businesses and organizations. Answers are provided to specific questions previously posed by businesses regarding financial, government regulation, human resources, legal and communications/marketing assistance. Businesses and organizations also have the opportunity to ‘ask the experts’ to resolve their issues. Reliable responses will be provided within 24 hours.
 
Tacoma's First COVID-19 Related Death (April 5, 2020) 
On April 5, we were notified by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department that Tacoma has confirmed a loss of life due to COVID-19. This is the first Coronavirus-related death in Tacoma. Read Mayor Woodards' statement on this loss.
 
A Statement From Mayor Victoria Woodards on Governor Jay Inslee’s March 30 Press Briefing (March 30, 2020)
"I want to support Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell by reiterating his request: Please do not call 911 to report violations of the Governor’s order, social distancing violations, or people being outside. We must continue to reserve 911 for people who need immediate emergency assistance. To learn how to best report crime and other issues, visit cityoftacoma.org/reportcrime or you can visit the State of Washington’s website – coronavirus.wa.gov – to report a violation. The Tacoma Police Department believes our community understands the severity of the situation. They recognize that people need to get groceries, pick up medicines, visit the doctor, or engage in other essential activities. When officers encounter someone who is not complying with the order, they know that they have an important role to play in reminding them of the restrictions in place, but they will not be actively seeking out individuals failing to comply with the order and they have no desire to make arrests for violations." Read Mayor Woodards' Full Statement
 
Press Conference on How Washington is Assisting Workers and Businesses (March 18, 2020)
Watch this press conference with Governor Jay Inslee, Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan as they provide an update on how Washington is assisting workers and businesses dealing with Coronavirus (COVID-19). Video courtesy of Governor Inslee's Facebook page.
 
For Tacoma Business resources related to COVID-19, visit our website www.MakeItTacoma.com​.
 
 
City of Tacoma Facilities Closing to the Public (March 17, 2020)
As of March 18, City facilities are temporarily closed to the public until further notice. The City offers telephone and email support as well as online resources. Read the Announcement on the City Closure
  
Additional Resources and Educational Materials

Coronavirus Fliers Available for Download in Multiple Languages
The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has created fliers explaining what the Coronavirus is, how it spreads and how to plan ahead. Download any of these fliers and share with your friends, family, co-workers or neighbors. 
 
Fliers
English
Chinese
Korean
Russian
Spanish
Tagalog
Vietnamese
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
City of Tacoma Employee Communication
If operating conditions change, the City of Tacoma will notify our employees via email, phone trees, the employee hotline, our intranet sites GNET/UNET and the City websites.
 
Additional Resources and Translated Materials
 
COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants/Recursos para inmigrantes
Information and resources for immigrants in English and Spanish provided by the Washington State Senate Democrats.
 
En Español-Webinar on COVID-19
This webinar is presented by the City of Seattle, King County Public Health, the City of Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development, and the City of Seattle Office of Labor Standards. 
Free e-Visits and Virtual Health Consultations at Local Healthcare Organizations


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