Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Offering Support to AFHs in Pierce County

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department would like to be there to support you. Here is their latest newsletter:

Winter conditions can affect our health, especially for people ages 65 or older and with long-term conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, diabetes, or kidney disease.

Managing long-term health conditions and planning will greatly reduce your risk for urgent medical attention. Learn about updates to help navigate infectious disease outbreaks and emergencies on our webpage.


Updated COVID-19 boosters

Staying up to date with booster doses can provide greater and longer protection against infection and severe disease. Everyone should get the updated booster if eligible.

The new booster shot is a bivalent vaccine, which means it targets the original SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as well as the more-prevalent omicron variant. The vaccine will help boost an immune response to the original strain and new strains.

Refer to this COVID-19 Vaccine Reference Guide for people who are immunocompromised.

It is safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot at the same time. Check out the latest Influenza Advisory for providers.

Email us at longtermcare@tpchd.org or call (253) 649-1412 if you want to partner with a pharmacy to get vaccines for your home.

Masks in healthcare settings 

Washington State’s public health emergency proclamations for COVID-19 ended on Oct. 31, 2022. But mask requirements remain for healthcare settings, including long-term care (LTC) facilities and homes.

You must wear masks in healthcare settings regardless of vaccination status. View limited exceptions to this requirement in the order.

We will continue to follow updates from Department of Health.

Infection Control 

As of Oct. 31, 2022, ALL LTC facilities and homes need to use the newly updated Interim Recommendations for SARS-CoV-2 Infection Prevention and Control in Healthcare Settings to protect residents and staff from COVID-19.

The newly updated guidance explains changes in:

  • Testing. 
  • Screening.
  • Screening testing.
  • Quarantine and work restrictions.
  • Universal eye protection and AGPs.
  • Source control.
  • Setting considerations, including:
    • Assisted living.
    • Group homes.
    • Other residential care settings.


Email us at epitesting@tpchd.org or fill out this form to request free test kits. Check out our COVID-19 Testing webpage for more information.

Medical Test Site Waiver application

We continue to support Adult Family Homes, Group Homes or Assistive Living Facilities who may need financial help with the MTSW license application payment.

Remember, If you are performing a test to detect COVID-19 and for reporting purposes, that setting must have a Medical Test Site Certificate of Waiver.

Complete this survey if you have an Adult Family Home, Group Home, or Assistive Living Facility that may need financial help with the MTSW license application payment. We can help you meet state and federal regulations.

COVID-19 treatments 

Treatment is available for older adults or someone at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. COVID-19 treatments are not a substitute for prevention. Everyone eligible should get vaccinated. Contact a healthcare provider right away after a positive test to see if they qualify, even when symptoms are mild. Treatments are safe, effective and free.

Telehealth is a free and easy way to see if a person is eligible for treatment. Learn more about the Test to Treat program that provides easy access to lifesaving treatments. Learn more about these treatments in different languages.


Save the dates! Register to attend the DOH COVID-19 Q&A call for LTCs. It’s a chance to connect, ask questions and learn about infection prevention guidance.

Register now.

Upcoming calls:

  • Nov. 10: 2022-2023 Seasonal influenza preparation and outbreak response.
  • Dec. 8: Topic to be determined; share ongoing resources.

To sign up for more notifications, email longtermcare@tpchd.org.