Advice from health officials: Put your masks back on indoors


Advice from health officials: Put your masks back on indoors

The public-health officers of King County, Pierce County, and six other counties in western Washington are formally advising citizens to wear masks in any businesses and other indoor public settings—a change from recent loosening of mask guidelines since the advent of vaccinations against COVID-19. In a joint statement issued July 26, the officials said a return to broader mask-wearing will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public, including business customers and workers, help stem the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in many parts of the state, and decrease the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. And anyone who isn’t already should get vaccinated “immediately,” the officials said.

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COMMENTARY: Hugs, grandmas and vaccinations COMMENTARY: Hugs, grandmas and vaccinations

I was too busy working to worry about the knock at my front door a few weeks back. It’s usually a delivery driver or the mail carrier. Then, I looked out the window and saw who it was. “Grandma’s outside!” I called to the kids. We all gathered around the door, excited for a rare

Home values jump in Pierce County Home values jump in Pierce County

Homeowners are seeing “dramatically” higher numbers in the latest assessed values for residential property throughout Pierce County. Overall, home values went up 16 percent this year, compared to 9 percent in 2020. The jump is due to a red-hot real estate market, said Assessor-Treasurer Mike Longeran, whose office mailed notices in late June to taxpayers.

Pandemic forcing later retirements

Despite light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, 30 percent of Americans have withdrawn money from their retirement savings and a similar percentage plan to retire later because of the crisis, including people who lost income in this period, according to a national study. MagnifyMoney, a consumer and financial information service, surveyed more than

COMMENTARY: Credit pandemic for telehealth’s expanding role in Medicare COMMENTARY: Credit pandemic for telehealth’s expanding role in Medicare

In early 2020, Congress and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) added temporary telehealth flexibilities to Medicare to help beneficiaries safely obtain needed services during the pandemic. The legislative and administrative updates broadened Medicare telehealth coverage in a number of ways. From expanding the list of allowable services and methods of communication to


People to people People to people

For two social-connections programs offered through Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSN), it’s all about people. Senior Companion assigns volunteers to regularly visit isolated or disabled residents of Pierce and Kitsap counties. During visits, they can chat, play cards or share hobbies, among other activities. The companions also accompany their clients on short errands or doctor


The more calcium, the better your health The more calcium, the better your health

Calcium is very important for your health. In fact, you have more calcium in your body than any other mineral. It makes up much of your bones and teeth and plays a role in heart health, muscle function and nerve signaling. Many non-dairy sources are also high in this mineral. These include seafood, leafy greens,


Travel and big events becoming ‘more normal’ Travel and big events becoming ‘more normal’

COVID mitigation measures on travel and other activities will continue after the full reopening of Washington’s economy, which was scheduled to open June 30 or earlier. Industries may return to usual operations at that time, but guidance for wearing face masks will remain. Also, there will be capacity restrictions at venues for large indoor events.

Health & Fitness

Spotting the symptoms is key to treating cataracts Spotting the symptoms is key to treating cataracts

Cataracts are a common eye condition that often affects people as they age. In fact, more than half of Americans age 80 and older have a cataract or had cataract surgery. With symptoms of blurry, dim vision that gets worse over time, cataracts can cause blindness if left untreated. Spreading the word that early diagnosis

Personal Finance/Consumers

Early retirement? Know how to pay for it

Delaying retirement has become common for many Americans, either because they saved too little or they just want to continue working because they enjoy it. Others go in the opposite direction. They retire early – sometimes out of choice, but often because their health or the economy forces it. While early retirement might sound appealing,