Pierce County Health experts say they are ready for reopening

Health experts say Pierce County is right where they need to be with COVID case numbers in preparation for fully reopening.

In the past Pierce County has struggled with high COVID numbers. In April, the county faced more restrictions than others parts of the because of it.

In May, the entire state moved to the same phase of reopening, and months later health experts say Pierce County’s case numbers have dropped.

"We still have cases every day, but we have seen a decline over the last several weeks, and pretty rapid too, which is really good to see," said Stephanie Dunkel.

Dunkel is the Assistant Division Director for Communicable Disease with the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department.

On Tuesday, the most recent numbers showed Pierce County at 74.2 per 100k COVID cases. In April, the number was about two times that.

Dunkel says to maintain this positive trend, the community needs to continue fighting against COVID.

"We want people to keep getting vaccinated finishing their two dose series so they are fully vaccinated and protected," she said.

For businesses impacted by the restrictions over the last year, they say they are looking forward to the opportunity to fully reopen.

"It’s huge, especially for my core. I’m lucky to have a pretty good chunk of my core staff," said Alex Todd. "Everyone is really excited that we can run our bar again," he added.

Todd is the general manager of The Matador in Tacoma. 

He says finally being able to have people at the bar, staying open late, and increasing the capacity will get more people in the door, as well as provide more jobs. 

Wednesday, in celebration of the state reopening, Governor Jay Inslee is joining Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodard’s for an event at Wright Park from 11 am – 1 pm. The community is welcomed to attend.