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Director of Health Dr. Anthony Chen will update health order to align with state outdoor mask requirements.

Dr. Anthony L-T Chen, Director of Health for Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, will update his health order to remove outdoor mask requirements in Pierce County beginning Feb. 18. This aligns with state requirements.

We will continue to monitor local COVID-19 data and CDC guidance, consult with other local health officers, and work with the State Department of Health to review indoor mask requirements.

“We continue to see outbreaks in schools, with 90% of classroom outbreaks this week happening in elementary schools,” Dr. Chen said. “Children 5–11 years old are by far the least-vaccinated age group in Pierce County, with 75% still not vaccinated. Improving that number will be vital to updating mask guidance in local schools.”

Our latest COVID-19 surge is falling fast. Pierce County total cases dropped more than 30% this week vs. last week. We are hopeful this trend continues. But these numbers are still significantly higher than our previous Delta variant peak in August. We know state health officials are monitoring a similar trend and reviewing guidance as we work together to learn to live with COVID-19.

COVID-19 will continue to be with us for some time. Please follow best public health practice, and use a layered approach to help protect yourself, your family, and your community.

  • Wear a mask in public indoor spaces.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Get tested if you experience symptoms or were exposed.
  • Get vaccinated or get your booster if you’re already vaccinated.

When you get your COVID-19 vaccine, or your booster if you’re already fully vaccinated, you protect yourself from serious illness, winding up in the hospital—and death. Find your dose today at tpchd.org/vaxtothefuture.

About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment in order to protect public health. We are one of only 163 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at www.tpchd.org.

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