COVID-19 Information

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

King County is currently in recovery Phase 2

The City of Mercer Island is committed to sharing up-to-date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with the community. These pages share the latest information, resources, and ways residents can help. Given the amount of information available, and specific needs of the community, we have created separate pages for businesses, community resources and assistance, and construction. Make sure to check out these pages for information specific to those topics.

Click on the shortcut buttons below to access the most requested information.


City Updates



General Information



Resources and Available Assistance



Still not finding what you're looking for? Use the search bar! There is A LOT of information on our coronavirus information and resource pages. If you can't find something, just type the topic in the search bar at the top of the page and you should be able to find it!


King County is currently in recovery Phase 2

The City of Mercer Island is committed to sharing up-to-date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with the community. These pages share the latest information, resources, and ways residents can help. Given the amount of information available, and specific needs of the community, we have created separate pages for businesses, community resources and assistance, and construction. Make sure to check out these pages for information specific to those topics.

Click on the shortcut buttons below to access the most requested information.


City Updates



General Information



Resources and Available Assistance



Still not finding what you're looking for? Use the search bar! There is A LOT of information on our coronavirus information and resource pages. If you can't find something, just type the topic in the search bar at the top of the page and you should be able to find it!


  • WA Notify: New COVID Exposure Notification App

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    30 Nov 2020

    New smartphone app can help you know if you've been exposed to COVID-19.

    On Monday, Governor Inslee announced that Washington residents have a new way to help stop the spread of COVID-19. WA Notify is a completely private app for smartphones that can inform people if they have been exposed to COVID-19 by another app user who later tests positive. Here's how the app works:


    The app uses a Bluetooth signal to determine when app users are in proximity, and exchanges a random, anonymous code for use in future notifications.

    What it can't do? Share data on your activity with anyone. It doesn’t collect data and doesn’t need to know who you are or where you go to work to function effectively.

    The app has been thoroughly reviewed by an independent privacy oversight committee which included security and civil liberties experts and community leaders. The free app can be enabled from the settings of Apple iPhones or downloaded for other phone brands. It is designed to work in tandem with the traditional contact tracing by phone call that is already underway statewide and has been launched with 29 languages built in.

    Similar technology has been deployed in Virginia, New York, and Colorado, as well as in other countries such as Ireland, Canada, and Germany.

    Visit WANotify.org today to learn more and read FAQ.

  • News for the Week of November 23

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    24 Nov 2020

    News and highlights for the week of November 23.

    COVID-19 disease transmission exceedingly high in Washington: three-day cumulative total for cases is over 6,000. The Washington State Department of Health’s (DOH) data report for Monday includes a backlog of cases. So, while we are reporting 6,277 new cases today, that number represents roughly three days’ worth of cases. Click here for the full press release.

    COVID-19 testing unavailable at some locations during Thanksgiving holiday. If you are planning to get tested this week, check the schedule for temporary service closures in observance of Thanksgiving and call any of the site locations if you have any questions. Follow this link for more information on testing sites in King County.

    Video: As COVID cases skyrocket, an update from Dr. Jeff Duchin. As cases skyrocket and hospitalizations increase, Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, shared updates on COVID-19 and what the public needs to do to turn the outbreak around. View the video here.

    Department of Health urges people to limit Thanksgiving gatherings, not seek screening tests. On Friday evening, the Department of Health (DOH) released a statement discouraging people without symptoms from seeking tests. DOH strongly urges everyone to limit their holiday celebrations to only members of their immediate households. They also encourage anyone with symptoms or close contact with someone who is infected (or suspected to be infected) with COVID-19 to get tested now. For more, click here.

    Inslee announces additional COVID-19 financial support. On November 20, Gov. Jay Inslee announced additional financial support funds for families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The total new economic supports amount to $135 million. Click here for more information.

    Mercer Island Updates

    Video Update from the City Manager. The next video update will take place during the Tuesday, December 1 City Council Meeting. Watch the update on MITV-21 or YouTube.

    Situation Report. Due to the holiday, there will be no SitRep posted on November 27. Click here to get caught up on previous SitReps.

    In-Person Learning Update from MISD Supt. Colosky. On November 21, Superintendent Colosky provided another update to the community about a delay in the plan for students to return to in-person. As of November 21, anticipated in-person learning for kindergarten will begin in January. Click here for her update.

    Information for Businesses

    New SSTAR Program mobile outreach schedule for bars and restaurants. Public Health's Food Protection Program is going mobile and is giving away free safety supplies for bars and restaurants throughout King County. Click here for more information.

    New document for food establishment managers: Required Information for COVID Prevention and Control Plan for Restaurants with Close Contacts. Found on the webpage, "When food workers are positive for COVID-19", if you operate a restaurant or other food service facility in King County, you are required to submit a COVID Prevention and Control Plan for approval under specific circumstances.

    Vaccine News

    COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan update from the Washington State Department of Health. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with our COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning efforts, and are hopeful a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 will be available before the end of the year. This week we heard encouraging news about a second COVID-19 vaccine candidate. We are excited that there are potentially two very effective vaccines close to being ready for approval. Follow this link for the full update.

    Resources

    Coping with COVID: It’s not just you. Dealing with COVID-19 has been difficult for everyone. As we move into fall, we face even more challenges: changing weather, schoolwork, holidays and gatherings, and strong political opinions. Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? It’s not just you. The things you’re feeling and experiencing are normal during a disaster, and there are things you can do to cope. To help you navigate this unprecedented time, we are bringing you a podcast series of conversations with experts on many of the topics we’re facing daily. Click here for more.

    Ways to Help

    YFS Winter Holiday Program. The MIYFS Emergency Assistance Department is planning their annual Holiday program for families experiencing economic insecurity on the Island. The goal is to ensure no child would celebrate their family's winter holiday without a gift or a special holiday meal. The anticipated cost this year to serve 50 families (including 90 children) is $13,000, which will require additional donations to support. Please consider making a donation today at www.miyfs.org/donate.

    Keep it local King County. As King County follows statewide temporary restrictions on public gatherings, Public Health - Seattle & King County and King County Executive Constantine is encouraging residents to patronize local businesses. Learn more about how to help here.

  • Inslee announces additional COVID-19 financial support

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    24 Nov 2020
    supporting image

    On November 20, Gov. Jay Inslee announced additional financial support funds for families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor was joined by Lisa Brown, Department of Commerce director, for the announcement.

    "We know this pandemic is taking an economic toll," Inslee said during a press conference Friday. "On Sunday we announced $50 million in business supports, but after more discussions with legislators and our agencies, we’ve agreed on how to more than double that."

    In addition to funds announced on Sunday, the total new economic supports amount to $135 million. Included in that total is:

    • $70 million in business support grants.
    • $30 million for the recovery loan program.
    • $20 million for rental assistance.
    • $15 million for energy bills for low-income households.

    Included in the $70 million in business support grants is $50 million for a new round of Working Washington grants focused on the hardest-hit industries. Remaining funds will go toward historically disadvantaged businesses who applied for earlier business grants and bolstering Commerce’s business resiliency network.

    "We know this is hard on these small businesses, and we know that this will not fully solve the burden so many business owners are shouldering," Brown said. "But it will help get some of them get through a difficult period. We are going to keep working with legislators, congress and other partners on securing additional support."

    The grants will be allocated first to businesses most impacted by both COVID-19 and the most recent measures taken to address public safety. Equity will also be a priority in making allocation decisions. In addition to the new funds, there will also be separate business support programs coming from local governments.

    "This is a significant relief effort," Inslee said. "I can’t say it’s going to help everyone, but I can say we are not done yet collaborating with our partners to find more funds."

    Find more information on available business assistance here.

  • News for the Week of November 16

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    20 Nov 2020

    News and highlights for the week of November 16.

    Mask-Giving Day. The “Mask-Giving” giveaway will take place this Saturday, November 21, at the MICEC from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Click here for more info.

    Video: A Conversation About Supporting Our Kids' Mental Health. On November 17, MI Parent Edge and the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Department presented a virtual conversation about supporting our kids' mental health with MIYFS Elementary Counselors. The video is available here.

    November 20 Situation Report. Click here for highlights and information from the 38th week of the City’s response to the pandemic.

    Video Update from the City Manager. Click here to watch City Manager Jessi Bon’s November 17 update on the latest COVID-19 information and update on City services.

    Top Headlines

    Inslee announces cap on third-party delivery fees to help restaurants. On Thursday, Gov. Inslee announced a new cap on fees charged to restaurants by third-party delivery platforms, such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates and others. For more information, click here.

    Governor Announces Tighter COVID-19 Restrictions Including In-Home Gatherings. On November 15, Gov. Inslee announced a four-week tightening of COVID-19 restrictions that began on Monday, November 16 at midnight. Click here for more.

    From KC Public Health: This Thanksgiving Requires A New Approach – And Extra Caution. COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in King County, Washington State and nationwide. More and more frequently, the virus is spreading within small groups and households. It’s moving from friend to friend, from family member to family member. If they weren't already adjusting their holiday plans, people across the state must rethink them now. Read more here.

    Vaccine News

    Video: How COVID Vaccines Are Made. Have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine? The Washington State Dept. of Health put together this video to help answer them. Check it out!

    School News

    In-Person Learning Update from MISD Supt. Colosky. On November 13, Superintendent Colosky updated the community on return to in-person learning plans. Click here for her update.

    Resources

    New Free Test Site at Highline College. Starting this week, south King County will have a new option for convenient, free COVID-19 testing. A new site at Highline College in Des Moines will expand efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in a disproportionately affected region of King County. These sites are free and open to anyone, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Click here for details.

  • How COVID Vaccines Are Made

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    19 Nov 2020

    Have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine? The Washington State Dept. of Health put together this video to help answer them. Check it out!


  • Mask-Giving Day!

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    19 Nov 2020
    supporting image

    As COVID-19 cases and infection rates spike, the City’s trained Emergency Volunteers are ready to help ensure all Islanders are able to Mask-Up for the Thanksgiving holiday and beyond!

    The “Mask-Giving” giveaway will coincide with the upcoming Thrift Shop Donation day, this Saturday, November 21, at the Community and Event Center (MICEC).

    From 10:00am to 3:00pm, volunteers will be assisting with donation traffic flow, while also handing out FREE masks to anyone who comes through the MICEC parking lot.

    No need to donate to receive a mask, and walk-ups are welcome.

    At last night’s online City Council meeting (see photo), the entire Council emphasized its support for using a mask, following the Governor’s latest guidance, and not gathering for Thanksgiving with people from outside the home.

  • Governor Announces Tighter COVID-19 Restrictions Including In-Home Gatherings

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    15 Nov 2020
    supporting image

    Updated: On November 15, Governor Jay Inslee announced a four-week tightening of COVID-19 restrictions that will begin Monday, November 16 at midnight.

    In response to what the Governor and state officials have dubbed an “explosive situation,” the series of updated measures are aimed at pushing back this third wave of the pandemic.

    Washington has “entered a phase of accelerated or exponential growth of the outbreak,” State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy said. “The number of cases reported each day in our state has more than doubled from about 1,000 cases a day reported, to more than 2,200 cases reported per day. If that doubling time continues, in two more weeks, we’ll be seeing over 4,000 cases per day.”

    “Today we are in a more dangerous position than we were in March,” the Governor continued during the special weekend press conference, but he is confident that Washington can knock down the virus again. To do that, he is implementing a series of modified restrictions, including:

    • Indoor gatherings with people outside the household will be prohibited unless participants:
      1. Quarantine for fourteen days (14) prior to the social gathering; or
      2. Quarantine for the seven (7) days prior to the gathering, and receive a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 48-hours prior to the gathering.
    • Outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than five people.
    • Restaurants and Bars are closed for indoor dine-in service. Outdoor dining and to-go service are permitted, provided that all outdoor dining must comply with the requirements of the Outdoor Dining Guidance. Table size for outdoor dining is limited to a maximum of five (5) people. These modified restaurant and bar restrictions go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, November 18, 2020.
    • Fitness Facilities and Gyms are closed for indoor operations. Outdoor fitness classes are permitted but are subject to and limited by the outdoor social gathering restriction listed above.
    • Bowling Centers are closed for indoor service.
    • Miscellaneous Venues: All retail activities and business meetings are prohibited. Only professional training and testing that cannot be performed remotely, as well as all court and judicial branch-related proceedings, are allowed. Occupancy in each meeting room is limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
      • Miscellaneous venues include: convention/conference centers, designated meeting spaces in a hotel, events centers, fairgrounds, sporting arenas, nonprofit establishment, or a substantially similar venue.
    • Movie Theaters are closed for indoor service. Drive-in movie theaters are permitted and must continue to follow current drive-in movie theater guidance.
    • Museums/Zoos/Aquariums are closed for indoor service.
    • Real Estate: Open houses are prohibited.
    • Wedding and Funerals: Ceremonies are limited to a total of no more than 30 people. Indoor receptions, wakes, or similar gatherings in conjunction with such ceremonies are prohibited.
    • In-Store Retail shall be limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits, and common/congregate seating areas and indoor dining facilities such as food courts are closed.
    • Religious Services are limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits, or no more than 200 people, whichever is fewer. Congregation members/attendees must wear facial coverings at all times and congregation singing is prohibited. No choir, band, or ensemble shall perform during the service. Vocal or instrumental soloists are permitted to perform, and vocal soloists may have a single accompanist. Outdoor services must follow the Outdoor Dining Guidance, found here, applicable to the structure or facility.
    • Professional Services are required to mandate that employees work from home when possible and close offices to the public if possible. Any office that must remain open must limit occupancy to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits.
    • Personal Services are limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits.
      • Personal service providers include: cosmetologists, cosmetology testing, hairstylists, barbers, estheticians, master estheticians, manicurists, nail salon workers, electrologists, permanent makeup artists, tanning salons, and tattoo artists.
    • Long-term Care Facilities: Outdoor visits are permitted. Indoor visits are prohibited, but individual exceptions for an essential support person or end-of-life care are permitted. These restrictions are also extended to the facilities in Proclamation 20-74, et seq. All other provisions of Proclamations 20-66, et seq., and 20-74, et seq., including all preliminary criteria to allow any visitors, remain in effect.
    • Youth and Adult Sporting Activities: Indoor activities and all contests and games are prohibited. Outdoor activities shall be limited to intra-team practices only, with facial coverings required for all coaches, volunteers and athletes at all times.

    While not as restrictive as March’s “Stay Home Order,” the revised guidelines place an immense financial burden on small businesses. The state is committing an additional $50 million in aid; the details of the financial assistance program will be announced in the coming days. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through the Small Business Administration are still available to small businesses. (Follow this link for tips from a Mercer Island business owner.)

    The restrictions are statewide and will take effect Monday, November 16 at 11:59 PM and will remain in effect until Monday, December 14. The modified restrictions of restaurants, however, will take effect Wednesday, November 18 at 12:01 AM.

  • Travel Advisory Issued for Interstate and International Travel

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    13 Nov 2020
    supporting image

    On November 13, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a travel advisory for Washington, recommending a 14-day quarantine for interstate and international travel and asks residents to stay close to home.

    Inslee joined California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in urging visitors entering their states or returning home from travel outside these states to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the virus.

    Travel Advisory

    11/13/2020

    The incidence of COVID-19 is increasing in many states and countries. Persons arriving in Washington from other states or Washingtonians returning from other states or countries could increase the risk of COVID-19 spread. To learn more about the risk that travel itself poses for COVID-19 exposure, please visit the CDC page on travel risks.

    Travel Advisory for Non-Essential Travel

    1. Persons arriving in Washington from other states or countries, including returning Washington residents, should practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. These persons should limit their interactions to their immediate household. This recommendation does not apply to individuals who cross state or country borders for essential travel.
    2. Washingtonians are encouraged to stay home or in their region and avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries. Avoiding travel can reduce the risk of virus transmission and bringing the virus back to Washington.

    In addition to urging individuals arriving from other states or countries to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival, the states’ travel advisories recommend individuals limit their interactions to their immediate household. The advisories define essential travel as travel for work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.

    Follow this link for the full travel advisory.

  • News for the Week of November 9

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    13 Nov 2020
    supporting image

    News and highlights for the week of November 9.

    City Updates

    Virtual Event - A Conversation About Supporting Our Kids' Mental Health. Gather mental health tips for your family to help reduce and/or better manage anxiety, stress, and depression; ask questions that are on your mind; and connect with other parents of elementary kids. Visit www.MIParentEdge.org for more information about the free November 17 event and to register.

    Youth Suicide Prevention for Parents: A Virtual Presentation. On November 2, King County Public Health issued a Health Advisory for increased risk of suicide among youth. MI Parent Edge & the MI Forefront Team are presenting a free, virtual event for parents to learn evidence-based prevention strategies to help youth in crisis stay safe and get support. Like first aid and CPR, this valuable knowledge supports healthy families and communities. Click here for more information about the free event on November 19.

    November 13 Situation Report. Click here for highlights and information from the 37th week of the City’s response to the pandemic.

    Video Update from the City Manager. The next video update will take place during the Tuesday, November 17 City Council Meeting a little after 6pm. Watch the update on MITV-21 or YouTube.

    Top Headlines

    Travel Advisory Issued for Interstate and International Travel. On November 13, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a travel advisory for Washington, recommending a 14-day quarantine for interstate and international travel and asks residents to stay close to home. Inslee joined California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in urging visitors entering their states or returning home from travel outside these states to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the virus. Follow this link for the full travel advisory.

    COVID-19 Cases Spreading Very Quickly in the Puget Sound Region. The fall surge, which is showing no signs of stopping, has erased the progress that we made this summer. Western Washington, specifically King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, are hot zones for disease transmission. As the holidays approach, everyone should take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Click here for tips on how to keep your family safe this season.

    Taking COVID-19 seriously. When Susan was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Spring, she was a healthy woman in her late 30s with no underlying health conditions. Six months later, she’s still experiencing symptoms. Stories like hers are part of the landscape shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read her story.

    Increase in COVID-19 activity statewide extremely concerning as holiday season nears; Health officials call for renewed efforts now. On November 10, the DOH issued a warning about a concerning growth in COVID-19 activity. Click here for the news release.

    Staying Healthy During The Holidays. The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household. Here are a few steps you can take to make your celebration safer.

    Vaccine News

    COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan update from the Washington State Department of Health. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with our COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning efforts. Read their latest news release for an update on vaccine candidates and supply.


  • COVID-19 Cases Spreading Very Quickly in the Puget Sound Region

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    12 Nov 2020
    supporting image

    Issued on November 10 from the Washington Department of Health:

    The fall surge, which is showing no signs of stopping, has erased the progress that we made this summer. Western Washington, specifically King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, are hot zones for disease transmission.

    As the holidays approach, everyone should take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including:

    • Limit in-person gatherings as much as you can. That means reducing the number of times you gather, how many people attend and how long you spend together. Gather outside if possible, or open windows and doors to maximize ventilation inside.
    • Always wear a face covering when you’re around people who don’t live with you. This includes close friends and family. It may feel awkward to do this around people we know well and trust, but many people get COVID-19 from someone who doesn’t have symptoms yet. Even if you’re keeping some physical distance, it’s still a good idea to wear a face covering.
    • Talk to your family and friends about alternate ways to celebrate the holidays. Brainstorm ideas for virtual celebrations so you can still enjoy spending time together without putting each other at risk.
    • Make a safety plan for in-person gatherings. Have a conversation with your family and friends about what you’re going to do to reduce risk of spreading COVID-19 when you gather.
    • Stay home if you’re sick or have been exposed to COVID-19. If you’re feeling a little under the weather but aren’t sure if you’re getting sick, take the cautious approach and protect others by staying home.
    • Keep up your good hygiene habits. Wash or sanitize your hands often and avoid touching your face.

    Read the full news release here.