COVID-19 Updates for Providers
- Be aware, on February 11, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their guidance for COVID-19 vaccination to include:
- For people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised:
- People who have completed a primary series of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) are recommended to receive an mRNA booster dose 3 months (instead of 5 months) after the last primary dose.
- People who have received a single Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine should receive one additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and one booster dose (preferably mRNA) for a total of 3 vaccine doses.
- Clarification that people who have completed their primary series of 3 mRNA doses should receive an mRNA vaccine booster dose—to make a total of 4 doses.
- For those who previously received passive COVID-19 antibody products:
- Simplification that people do not need to wait for any period prior to COVID-19 vaccination.
- For people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised:
- Strongly recommend patients get vaccinated. You are patients’ most trusted source of vaccine information.
- Be aware, the US Food and Drug Administration postponed their advisory committee meeting to give more time to review available evidence on 3 doses of COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months to 4 years.
- Increase access to COVID-19 therapeutics. Enroll to become a provider by emailing email@example.com or prescribe patients available products. You can find:
- Tell patients how to access, use and interpret at-home antigen test kits. Direct patients to the many COVID-19 testing sites in Pierce County.
- Print and share our flyer about how to access antigen tests.
- Tell patients with mild to moderate illness how to care for themselves at home and when to go to the emergency department.
COVID-19 situation update
As of Jan. 25, Pierce County has had 155,442 COVID-19 cases and 1,062 COVID-19 deaths. Our 14-day case rate per 100,000 is 3,494.9. Our 7-day new COVID-19 hospitalization rate per 100,000 is 36.5. You can see this data on the state’s data dashboard.
Pierce County COVID-19 data continue to show significant disparities by race and ethnicity, particularly affecting American Indian, Alaska Native, Black, Latinx, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander communities. You can see these trends on our case data dashboard.
As of Jan. 22, Pierce County residents received about 1,349,439 total doses of COVID-19 vaccine. 63% of Pierce County residents are fully vaccinated. See our COVID-19 vaccine data page for details.
- COVID-19 vaccine clinical considerations, CDC.
- Booster dose updates, FDA.
- EUA and FDA-approved vaccine information:
- COVID-19 vaccine locator, Washington State Department of Health (DOH).
- COVID-19 vaccine for providers, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.
- COVID-19 vaccine provider toolkit and resources, DOH.
- COVID-19 vaccination for providers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Clinical considerations for COVID-19 vaccination and guidance for managing anaphylaxis, CDC.
- COVID-19 vaccine quick reference guide for healthcare professionals, CDC.
- COVID-19 vaccine training module on best practices for providers, CDC.
- K–12 test requirements to return to school.
- Antigen test guidance, CDC.
- For help with questions or accessing resources, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, (253) 649-1247 or tpchd.org/gettested.
COVID-19 test processing
Labs report varying amounts of time to process COVID-19 tests. To support faster turnaround, we encourage providers to use in-state labs. The table below shows COVID-19 test processing times for in-state private labs. If you have questions about Health Department-facilitated antigen tests, contact email@example.com.
|Lab||Time to process test||Tests processed daily|
|Northwest Pathology||48–72 hours||20,000|
|UW Virology||24–48 hours||10,000–11,000|
|Atlas Genomic||24–48 hours||10,000|
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) allocates monoclonal antibodies and oral antivirals to each state. DOH distributes doses to enrolled providers. Providers must enroll in Healthcare Partner Ordering Portal (HPoP) to manage COVID-19 therapies. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for support enrolling.
- Once enrolled, to request a supply of monoclonal antibodies or therapeutics, complete a smart sheet.
Supplies of all therapies are current limited. Safeway and independent pharmacies may have oral antivirals. Hospital-associated systems may have monoclonal antibodies. All therapies must be dispensed by prescription. Therapies from Safeway are intended to be delivered to patients’ homes. Patients with questions about accessing their medication should call the pharmacy.
You can find:
- Available doses in your area with HHS’ COVID-19 therapeutics locator.
- More information and resources on DOH’s therapeutics for providers page.
Share with patients:
- What to do if you test positive for COVID-19.
- What to do if you were exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Immediately report COVID-19
- Cases in the following people—call (253) 649-1412.
- Healthcare workers (e.g., EMS, medical, nursing, any healthcare facility employee).
- Public safety workers (e.g., law enforcement, firefighter).
- Live or work in a long-term care facility, senior living center, permanent supportive housing or similar congregate setting (e.g., shelter, correctional facility) housing people at high risk for severe outcomes.
- Anyone who dies with COVID-19.
- Anyone with suspected MIS-C.
- All other cases—fax the following to (253) 649-1357 or call (253) 649-1413.
- Patient—first name, last name, date of birth, gender, race, ethnicity, preferred language, phone number, address and zip code.
- Specimen—collection date and type (NP, nasal swab, blood, etc.).
- Test—type (PCR, NAAT, antigen, antibody/serology) and result (detected, not detected, inconclusive).
- Ordering facility.
- For all cases, report the person’s race, ethnicity and preferred language.
Contacting the Health Department
- Urgent issues—call (253) 649-1412.
- Non-urgent issues—call (253) 649-1413 and leave a message. Includes reporting notifiable conditions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Leave the patient’s name, date of birth and disease.
- Our COVID-19 page for healthcare providers.
- Washington COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard.
- CDC guidance for healthcare providers and facilities.
- DOH COVID-19 data dashboard.
- DOH COVID-19 page.
- CDC COVID-19 page.
- Pierce County COVID-19 response and recovery page.
- Pierce County personal protective equipment (PPE) requests.
- SARS-CoV-2 sequencing and variants in Washington.