Port of Tacoma response to COVID-19

Posted March 23, 2020

On March 23, Gov. Jay Inslee announced enhanced strategies to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak. These include a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order to further enhance social distancing. All non-essential businesses must close within 48 hours unless employees can work from home.

The order goes into effect immediately. It will last for a minimum of 14 days and could be extended. As part of that order, the governor announced that businesses designated “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” will continue to operate. This list includes “maritime transportation workers — port workers, pilots, longshoremen, mariners, equipment operators, ship and vessel operators, crane operators, and shipyard foremen/women, marina workers.”

Construction of critical infrastructure is also included as essential.

Based on these exemptions, all cargo terminals at the Ports of Tacoma and Seattle within The Northwest Seaport Alliance gateway remain operating under normal business hours with very few exceptions. For the latest terminal schedule, visit the Terminals page on the NWSA website. For specific questions regarding terminal operations, please contact the terminals directly.

As noted in previous communications, the NWSA's international and domestic terminals and International Longshore and Warehouse Union partners have adopted mitigation plans and are also developing contingency plans should port operations be disrupted.

About The Northwest Seaport Alliance

Posted March 13, 2020

Considering concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, the Port of Tacoma remains focused on the health and safety of our employees and to everyone who lives or does business in Pierce County.

“As we navigate through these uncharted waters amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, we rely on our core values and stand ready to support our community partners,” said Port of Tacoma Executive Director Eric Johnson. “There may be difficult weeks ahead of us, but we will work together to take care of each other and our community.”

The Port of Tacoma Commission currently is planning to hold its regular in-person meeting on March 19. In the interest of public health, we are also reviewing alternative options that will allow comments to be accepted in person, as well as via email and phone.

Under the direction of the United States Coast Guard, the Port continues to work closely with The Northwest Seaport Alliance to serve the needs of our customers and stakeholders. We are also following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus.

  • The CDC is the main federal response agency for maritime vessels. The U.S. Coast Guard has authority on commercial vessel traffic and crew members on board the vessels. Read more updates from the NWSA.
  • The Port of Tacoma and Washington state ports are in communication with each other and the United States Coast Guard through the USCG Area Maritime Security Committee (AMSC), which was established to be prepared for events such as this.
  • The Port of Tacoma has implemented daily enhanced cleaning protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus at Port maritime and marine maintenance facilities including:
    • Providing hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes for self-cleaning of desks, equipment and NWSA vehicles.
    • Disinfecting high-touch surfaces and floors throughout facilities, including kitchens, handrails, doorknobs, offices, conference rooms and restrooms.
  • The monthly bus tours for March and April have been canceled.
  • All non-essential business travel for employees has been suspended through April 15.
  • To increase physical distance among employees, the Port has implemented flexible worksite policies for employees who are able to telework.


Check the following resources for the most up-to-date information on the novel coronavirus: