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Pierce County nurses make house calls to give COVID-19 vaccines

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is offering in-home vaccine appointments for people who are unable to come to a COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — Nurses from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department have given out more than 150 COVID-19 vaccines to residents who are unable to come to vaccine clinics.

“It would not have happened if it had not come here,” said Wilma Bennett. She and her husband George received their second Moderna vaccines in their rural home in Graham.

“I don’t have to worry about it anymore,” said Wilma Bennett, who takes care of her husband, who suffers from dementia, “It’s huge.”

“They’re always happy,” said medical assistant Ji Cheong, who has been giving vaccines inside peoples’ homes since April, “They’re always thinking, ‘I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.'”

The county is still operating walk-up vaccine clinics in multiple locations, but anyone who has difficulties leaving their home can set up an in-home vaccination appointment by calling (253) 649-1412.

Pierce County reported its lowest COVID-19 case rate in nearly three months on Wednesday. Between May 11-24, the case rate per 100,000 people was 196.4. The 14-day rate is the most reliable look at the disease burden.

The county's hospitalization rate is currently 7.8 per 100,000 people.

Pierce County has struggled with keeping its case count down. In April, it was one of three counties in the state to roll back to Phase 2 of the state's reopening plan; failing to have fewer than 200 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days and fewer than five new COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 people over seven days.  

Pierce County's case rate improved dramatically, with a 14-day case rate period of 356.3 per 100,000 people around the beginning of May.