Pierce County Health Department to reopen following threat

After receiving a threat and closing its offices for two days, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department plans to reopen and offer in-person services again on Friday.

Kenny Via, a spokesman for the health department, told the News Tribune in a phone call that department leadership has decided to resume in-person operations beginning Friday morning. The agency closed unexpectedly on Wednesday and Thursday after a threat was made against its employees.

While most functions have moved online, it has been unable to offer its STD clinic, environmental health services and vital registry services. On Wednesday, the department canceled a COVID vaccination clinic and a health board meeting scheduled for that day.

At this time, city and county officials have not made the nature of the threat public. After investigating the threat, the Tacoma Police Department submitted a report to prosecutors, according to department spokeswoman Wendy Haddow. In a phone call, Haddow told the News Tribune she didn’t know if any charges had been laid against any suspect.

Pierce County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Adam Faber said by email that police sent the report to the Tacoma City District Attorney’s Office. No one from that office was immediately reachable for comment Thursday.

This story was originally published July 21, 2022 1:20 p.m.

Allen Siegler is the education and breaking news reporter for The News Tribune. He first joined the newsroom as an intern in June 2022. Siegler is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill master’s in public health program and previously interned at the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email him at [email protected]