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We end a difficult year in Pierce County with hope and gratitude.

This year was difficult. This pandemic continues to affect everyone. Too many of our neighbors suffered from COVID-19, and too many died from it. Today, our case numbers are still concerningly high.

But as we end the year, we have reasons to be hopeful and thankful.

Vaccinations mean hope is here.

Vaccines are our best hope for ending the pandemic, so news of two Emergency Use Authorizations from the FDA was most welcome.   

Those most at risk of contracting COVID-19, such as front-line health care workers and long-term care center residents, are first in line for the limited supply of vaccine. But many more people will be eligible soon. So far, more than 10,000 Pierce County healthcare workers and Long-Term Care Center residents have already received the COVID-19 vaccine in Pierce County. Find out how many people have received the vaccine on our data dashboard. Follow the status of the state’s phased distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine on our vaccination webpage.

Our staff moved mountains this year.

Our staff devote themselves to your health. This year, hundreds of us worked tirelessly to protect you. It’s safe to say it was the busiest year in our agency’s history. As of Wednesday morning, we had:

  • Planned and completed a school testing pilot in three districts. 9,908 people received tests, including 6,274 youth, 3,619 adult staff, and 15 adult non-staff.
  • Planned and supported the vaccine rollout in Pierce County.
  • Closed the case on 19,572 COVID-19 investigations.
  • Mailed 54,021 resources postcards to people who live in areas with little internet.
  • Sent 4,739 care packages to households in quarantine or isolation.
  • With our partner Pierce County, set up a Temporary Care Center that has housed more than 300 people.
  • Created 20 new webpages and translated them into Spanish.

Thank you for seeking our reliable information.

We have stressed the important steps you can take to protect yourselves and your neighbors since before Pierce County experienced its first COVID-19 case.  And you listened.

We know you’re finding our information online. Our website traffic at tpchd.org increased more than 800% since this time last year. Through Dec. 30, 2019, we had 1.01 million pageviews. For the same time this year, we had 9.55 million pageviews.

Our Reliable Source Blog is more popular this year. Before COVID-19, we had fewer than 200 subscribers. Today, the number is about 25,700. About a year ago, our blogs had 19,000 views from readers. This year, people sought the information in our blogs 520,000 times.

Our social media audience is larger, too. We have about 5 times as many Facebook followers and 3 times as many Twitter followers as we did last year. You also call and email us. We’ve logged about 13,000 of your calls and emails since March.

And you comment. We get hundreds a day. The best part: you help spread the word. Thank you for taking the time to talk with your neighbors and share our messages, to help keep one another healthy.

We also reached out with a marketing campaign that reached people 67 million times since September. Our media partners told us you reacted to our ads with rates similar to alcohol and entertainment ads, which tend to draw the most interest during normal times.

We brought in extra people to help us answer your questions. You keep us on our toes as we try to keep you informed. We appreciate you taking the time to tell us about the things you care about. Keep asking questions about things that matter to you. We will continue to provide the best information possible.

Altogether, we reach millions of people each month in Pierce County, Puget Sound, and across the country. 

We are thankful you continue to count on us.

People often find comfort in the information we provide. We hope you will continue to count on us as a reliable and trusted source for local public health information. And it’s encouraging that, even though none of us chose these hard times and no one wants high rates of COVID-19, many of you show how you care for yourselves and others when you model:

Thank you and be kind to each other.

"Mask-quatch sighting. Mask up, Pierce County." A sasquatch wears a protective face mask. Elsewhere is Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department logo.

UPDATED: 07/26/2022
UPDATED: 01/11/2021