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We can send numbers back down like we did before.

We are concerned about the recent upward trend of cases in Pierce County.

We came together as a community to drive new cases down after the highs in early August. But we lost all that progress since Labor Day. Confirmed cases are up over the past two weeks, when the average rate of cases went up almost every day.

On Sept. 16, our 14-day average number of new cases was 33.  Today the average was 49.2, about 50 percent higher. The last time our numbers were this high was the end of August.

The state ties many aspects of reopening to the average number of cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period (with a 6-day lag). Today, this metric is 60.8; we expect to exceed 75, with the 6-day lag, next week.

What’s at stake.

Everyone should be concerned about the recent increases. If the average number of cases per 100,000 residents continues to rise:

  • In-person schooling could become too risky for students and educators.
  • Congregate care facilities might need to re-impose restrictions on residents.
  • Businesses could face restrictions.

It’s up to all of us to take action and do what we can to protect one another. Protecting really is respecting. It’s the right thing to do for yourself, your family, your neighbors, your elders, your children—your community.

Gatherings can be dangerous.

We see trends in disease patterns forming:

  • We see an increase of cases, or secondary transmissions, from Labor Day, just as we did after Fourth of July. People are not practicing safe distancing and not wearing face coverings at gatherings–social, business, civic, political, athletic and religious.
  • Outbreaks in congregational care settings continue as they have since early in the pandemic but are at a higher level. This is especially concerning, as our older residents can have more severe outcomes from COVID-19 disease, including death.
  • Another possible reason for the upward trend includes transmissions between young children and youth in childcare, recreation, social gatherings, or any place people gather while not wearing masks, washing hands, or maintaining physical distancing.

Let’s work hard, as a community, to take the steps necessary to protect each other from COVID-19.

The mask you wear everyday will protect your family and friends. While you might not be at high risk of severe illness if you get the virus that causes COVID-19, someone you know likely is. Wearing your mask will protect your most vulnerable family members and friends. Your choices today could have grave implications for others tomorrow.

We can help you find or make a face covering. Wearing a mask is easier and more comfortable than being sick, and a lot less bother.

Everybody needs to do their part to care for each other.

  • Stay close to home and limit unnecessary trips.
  • Wear your mask when you leave home.
  • Limit your interactions to a small circle of friends and family.
    • Keep gatherings small, and outside if possible where fresh air circulates.
    • Continue to practice physical distancing.
  • Stay 6 feet apart from others. Wear a mask when you cannot maintain 6 feet of space.
  • Stay home if you’re sick. Avoid interacting with people you live with so you don’t infect them.
  • Get a test for COVID-19 if you are experiencing symptoms. Stay isolated from others while you wait for your test results.
  • Get a test for COVID-19 if you think you were exposed to COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands, cover your cough, and keep up your best hygiene and sanitation.

We will get through this.

The coming months could be difficult with holidays and gatherings. But we promise to give you plenty of ideas to celebrate differently this year. Check out our “Let’s aim for all treats this year. No COVID-19 tricks.” blog for tips on keeping your family safe. And subscribe to our Reliable Source blog to keep up to date on how to gather with loved ones through the winter until we are safer from COVID-19.

Learn more about how to protect yourself and others at tpchd.org/coronavirus.

Girl wearing mask holding dandilions