COVID-19 Information

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King County is in Healthy Washington Recovery Phase 3

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 more.

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


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 in Healthy Washington Recovery Phase 3

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 more.

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


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!

  • Statement on Pausing J & J Vaccine from the Washington DOH

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    13 Apr 2021

    For immediate release: April 13, 2021

    The Washington State Department of Health will pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J & J) vaccine statewide starting immediately, following the guidance of the FDA/CDC. Use of that vaccine will be put on hold until we receive further recommendations from our federal partners about how best to move forward. Safety is the highest priority when it comes to all COVID-19 vaccines.

    This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution based on the appearance of a rare but serious side effect including serious brain blood clots (CVST) combined with low platelet counts in six patients, all women under 50. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will review these cases in the days ahead and will recommend guidance going forward.

    About 149,000 doses of J & J vaccine have been administered in Washington so far, out of more than four million doses total. At this time, we have no knowledge of the six patients who experienced these blood clots being Washington residents.

    For those who got the vaccine more than a month ago, the risk of this complication is very low at this time. People who have received the J & J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. It also demonstrates how well the robust vaccine safety monitoring systems work, since this potential safety concern was identified quickly and vaccines were paused to allow for further investigation.

    No definitive cause has been identified yet, but the FDA said today that a probable cause is a rare immune response generated by an individual after receiving the vaccine.

    DOH will continue to monitor the situation related to J & J vaccine and update on its use as the pause is reviewed and once it is lifted.

    Visit the DOH Newsroom for all news releases.
    Subscribe to get news releases in Spanish. You will continue to receive the English version.
    Washington State Department of Health is your source for a healthy dose of information.

  • King County Continues in Phase 3 Until May 6

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    12 Apr 2021
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    Today, state officials undertook the first three-week review of Healthy Washington metrics. The county-by-county review of case count and hospitalization trends found King County within the required metrics.

    The next review will take place on Monday, May 3 with any changes to Phases taking effect Friday, May 7. As such, King County will remain in Phase 3 through May 6. For King County COVID-19 case information and other data, check out the county’s data dashboards.

    Last Friday, the governor announced an update to the Healthy Washington criteria, determining that “In order to move down one phase, a county must fail both metrics for case counts and hospitalizations. Under the previous plan, a county only needed to fail one metric to move back a phase.”

    The review did see three counties roll back to Phase 2 (Pierce, Cowlitz, and Whitman). See this post for more on today’s county-by-county review and rollbacks.

  • News for the Week of April 5

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    09 Apr 2021
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    News highlights for the week of April 5.

    Latest Numbers. In Mercer Island, there have been 518 positive cases reported as of April 9. DOH reported a total of 348,431 confirmed cases as of April 7. There have been 5,316 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. For the latest city and county data, click here.

    Cases of COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough confirmed in Washington state. DOH is investigating reports of people who tested positive for COVID-19 more than two weeks after being fully vaccinated. Scientists call these "vaccine breakthrough" cases, which are expected with any vaccine. Read the full news release here.

    Governor updates Healthy Washington criteria for county phases. On April 9, the Governor updated and clarified the criteria for counties to stay in Phase 3 of the state's Healthy Washington pandemic reopening plan. Under the plan that took effect in March, counties are individually evaluated every three weeks. The first evaluation occurs this Monday, and changes to a county's phase status take effect Friday, April 16. In advance of each county's evaluation, the governor established that: In order to move down one phase a county must fail both metrics for case counts and hospitalizations (under the previous plan, a county only needed to fail one metric to move back one phase). Click this link to learn more.

    COVID-19 data show concerning increases in disease activity. DOH released the latest statewide situation report on COVID-19, which shows increasing transmission and daily case counts. At the Governor’s April 8 press conference, he strongly suggested that some counties will revert back to Phase 2 at Monday’s check-in. Watch the press conference here.

    Situation Reports. The City has moved to monthly Situation Reports (SitReps), available the first Friday of the month. The next SitRep will be available the afternoon of May 7. Click here to catch up on the latest information and reports.

    Information for Businesses

    Small Business Administration's Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program launches this week. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. The application portal opened April 8. Get more information here.

    Vaccine News

    King County COVID-19 Vaccine Data At-a-Glance. Page updated daily here.

    COVID-19 vaccine distribution update from DOH. As of April 5, more than 3.7M doses of vaccine have been given across the state. Washington is currently averaging 59,592 vaccine doses given each day. Read the full update here.

    School News

    Guidance for graduation and other school ceremonies during the COVID-19 pandemic updated. Guidance for Graduation Ceremonies during the COVID-19 Pandemic outlines graduation models. It leaves decisions to school boards and superintendents to ensure safety and physical distancing. Ceremonies must align with the Governor's Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery guidance.

    COVID-19 outbreaks in Washington state K-12 schools. Between Aug. 1, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021, 134 COVID-19 outbreaks and 526 COVID-19 cases in K-12 schools were reported to DOH. Read the full March 31 report here.

    Resources

    FEMA to provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses. Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020. Applications will be accepted beginning April 12. Read more details here.

    Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home: Guidelines from the CDC. Cleaning with a household cleaner that contains soap or detergent reduces the amount of germs on surfaces and decreases risk of infection from surfaces. Disinfection to reduce transmission of COVID-19 at home is likely not needed unless someone in your home is sick or if someone who is positive for COVID-19 has been in your home within the last 24 hours. Learn more about how to follow recommended steps for cleaning and disinfecting your home when someone is sick here.

    Supporting your child’s transition back into the classroom. As children make the trek back to school, King County Public Health reminds us that it’s important to be mindful of how the transition will affect them. While getting students back into the classroom is certainly progress in reopening our state, and good news for many parents, kids may react in all sorts of ways. Click here for the article.

    Last Call…

    Tax Day for individuals extended to May 17. It’s okay, you can breathe a temporary sigh of relief! The IRS has extended the filing deadline to May 17. Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax. Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021. Visit the IRS newsroom for more information.

  • Eligibility Opens to All Adults Next Week But Appointment Registration is Open Now

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    10 Apr 2021
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    All Washington adults 16+ will be eligible for the vaccine starting next Thursday, April 15.

    Early registration is now available for anyone 16+, lives or works in King County, and would like to be vaccinated at one of four Seattle locations:

    • Lumen Field Event Center (330 S Royal Brougham Way, Seattle)
    • North Seattle College Community Vaccination Hub (9600 College Way N, Seattle)
    • Rainier Beach Community Vaccination Hub (8702 Seward Park Ave S, Seattle)
    • West Seattle Community Vaccination Hub (2801 SW Thistle St, Seattle)

    King County residents or anyone who works in the county can fill out a form, processed through the City of Seattle, to receive notification when an appointment opens up at one of these locations or use the Seattle vaccination appointment finder.

  • News for the Week of March 29

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    02 Apr 2021
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    News highlights for the week of March 29.

    Latest Numbers. In Mercer Island, there have been 498 positive cases reported as of April 1. DOH reported a total of 340,371 confirmed cases as of March 29. There have been 5,237 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. For the latest city and county data, click here.

    All Washington Adults Eligible for the Vaccine Beginning April 15. On March 31, the Governor announced that beginning April 15, all adults (16+) will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here for more information.

    Vaccine Eligibility Now Open to Phase 1B3 and 1B4. On March 31, the state opened eligibility for people in Phase 1B3 and 1B4 which includes:

    • Anyone 16 years or older with 2 or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions
    • All people 60 years and older
    • Anyone who lives, works, or volunteers in certain congregate living settings (Group homes for people with disabilities, Settings where people experiencing homelessness live or access services, Correctional facilities)
    • Anyone who works in certain congregate settings (Restaurants, Food services, Construction and manufacturing)

    APPLY NOW: Round Four of Working Washington Business Grants Open. On Monday, March 29, the Washington State Department of Commerce opened applications for the 4th round of Working Washington Grants. Applications are due April 9. This latest grant round focuses on brick-and-mortar businesses most directly impacted by COVID-19 public health measures. Business owners can find information about the program and a link to the application portal at commercegrants.com.

    April 2 Situation Report. Click here for highlights and information from the 56th week of the City’s response to the pandemic. Available here.

    Vaccine News

    State's online eligibility tool no longer required starting March 31. Phase Finder will no longer be required to verify COVID-19 vaccine eligibility. Instead, people who want a vaccine should check DOH's priority guidance webpage and, if eligible, use the Vaccine Locator to find an appointment. Read the full news release here.

    Pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccine. As of March 17, pregnant people in Washington state are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. If you are pregnant or considering a future pregnancy, you probably have lots of questions around risks and benefits of the vaccine. We've provided answers to some of the questions you might have surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here to learn more.

    Bringing vaccination to communities that need access (and trust). Tsegar Berthe knew that members of Seattle's Eritrean community would only be willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from someone they trusted. And he knew the perfect place to hold a clinic: The Eritrean Holy Trinity Orthodox Church. Follow this link for more info.

    King County COVID-19 Vaccine Data At-a-Glance. Page updated daily here.

    The COVID-19 vaccine is free to you. What does that mean? King County Public Health - Since the COVID-19 vaccine’s arrival, we’ve had many things to celebrate. As more people across the state prepare for their appointments, we want to remind you of one more piece of good news: the vaccine is free to all who want one. Click here to learn what this means.

    Resources

    Q&A discussion on COVID-19 vaccine in Korean on March 31 Public Health will be partnering with the Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs to host a workshop in Korean about the COVID-19 vaccine, so that those who speak Korean will be able to confidently talk to your community about the vaccination process and accurately respond to common vaccine questions. Click here for information.

    Last Call…

    We just hit a *huge* milestone - 1 million COVID-19 doses administered in King County! Or to be exact, at least 1,071,586 total doses administered according to the King County COVID-19 data dashboard updated March 31 and linked here.

  • All Washington Adults Eligible for the Vaccine Beginning April 15

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    31 Mar 2021

    On March 31, the Governor announced that beginning April 15, all adults (16+) will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. See full news release below.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    March 31, 2021
    Public and constituent inquiries | 360.902.4111
    Press inquiries | 360.902.4136

    Gov. Jay Inslee today announced that effective April 15, all Washingtonians over the age of 16 will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

    Over the past four months since Washington began administering doses of the vaccination, the state has followed a tiered eligibility system, beginning with those most at risk of hospitalization and death.

    The governor and the state Department of Health (DOH) have also prioritized equity issues in each phase to ensure vaccine access to populations disproportionately affected by the virus, including communities of color and low-income communities.

    The expansion of eligibility comes, in part, in response to a recent uptick in COVID cases in the state.

    “We must do everything possible to ensure that we can keep cases down," Inslee said during a press conference Wednesday. "We have concerns about the trends we are seeing across the state and we must be cautious. Opening up full eligibility will be one tool to help in the fight against the virus.

    "If we get vaccinated and continue the health practices that keep those around us healthy – masks, distancing and basic hygiene – we’re going to knock this virus down. But we cannot get complacent. We feel like we are done with COVID, but this virus is not done with us yet."

    Roughly 3.3 million doses have been administered in Washington to date, and more than one million residents have been fully vaccinated.

    Resources

    Find more information on the COVID-19 vaccine here.

    Use the Vaccine Locator tool to register for a vaccination appointment here.

    For DOH's COVID-19 Information Hotline, dial 1.800.525.0127, then press #. Language assistance is available.

    Reposted March 31, 2021 News Release

  • Vaccine Eligibility Now Open to Phase 1B3 and 1B4

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    31 Mar 2021
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    On March 31, the state opened eligibility for people in Phase 1B3 and 1B4.

    Phase 1B3 and 1B4 includes the following Washingtonians:

    • Anyone 16 years or older with 2 or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions
    • All people 60 years and older
    • Anyone who lives, works, or volunteers in certain congregate living settings
      • Group homes for people with disabilities
      • Settings where people experiencing homelessness live or access services
      • Correctional facilities
    • Anyone who works in certain congregate settings
      • Restaurants
      • Food services
      • Construction and manufacturing
    • Anyone in Phase 1A, 1B1, or 1B2.

    Also beginning March 31, the state is no longer requiring the online eligibility tool, Phase Finder. People who want a vaccine should check DOH's priority guidance webpage and, if eligible, use the Vaccine Locator to find an appointment.

    Read the full news release here.

  • News for the Week of March 22

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    26 Mar 2021
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    News highlights for the week of March 22.

    Latest Numbers. In Mercer Island, there have been 490 positive cases reported as of March 19. DOH reported a total of 334,841 confirmed cases as of March 22. There have been 5,186 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. For the latest city and county data, click here.

    New Household Assistance Request Program. Do you and your family need financial support to successfully isolate or quarantine? Anyone living in King County who tests positive or is exposed to COVID-19 may be eligible to receive a one-time household bill payment of up to $1,500 to help pay their current rent, mortgage, utility, water, phone and internet bills. Click here for more.

    Inslee rescinds state travel advisory to align with CDC travel advisory guidance. The Governor has rescinded his November 2020 Travel Advisory and is advising Washingtonians and visitors to comply with the Center for Disease Control’s current COVID-19 travel advisory guidance. Read the full news release here.

    King County Executive proposes $600 million American Rescue Plan budget. This week, King County Executive Dow Constantine transmitted a $600 million spending plan to the King County Council, funded in part by the American Rescue Plan. The plan includes $253 million for Public Health Response/Vaccinations & COVID operations (ex. $116 million for stepped-up vaccination program), $199 million for Community Supports-rental assistance, childcare, behavioral health (ex. $100 million for rental assistance and $62.5 million emergency homeless response), $92 million towards Economic Recovery (ex. $25.6 million for BIPOC business and economic resiliency fund), and $40 million for the King County Jobs Program. Click here to read the full press release.

    Statewide data show some signs of increasing activity. The latest report from the WA DOH shows trends which are cause for concern. The report found: (1) transmission may be increasing, (2) daily case counts have flattened at a relatively high level of around 654 new cases per day as of mid-March, (3) number of hospital beds occupied by confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients began increasing in mid-March after steady declines since January, and (4) the percentage of people with active COVID-19 infections) has plateaued since early February, following declines in January. Click here for details from the full report.

    Situation Reports. The City has moved to monthly Situation Reports (SitReps), available the first Friday of the month. The next SitRep will be available the afternoon of April 2. Click here to catch up on the latest information and reports.

    Vaccine News

    Vaccination cards: What’s a COVID-19 vaccination card and why should I keep it? When you get a vaccination, you should receive a vaccination record card. This card is not only proof that you got your shot, but it can also help you keep track of your vaccine information. This information is important to ensure you get the correct second dose — at the right time. You might want to keep it in your wallet so that it is always with you. Learn more about what to do (or not to do) with your vaccine card here.

    Fully Vaccinated. According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated: (1) two-weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or (2) two-weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. If it has been less than two-weeks since your 1-dose shot, or if you still need to get your second dose of a 2-dose vaccine, health officials remind you that you are not fully protected. Learn more about what the health officials recommend before and after being fully vaccinated.

    Current progress of COVID-19 vaccination in King County. As of March 24, 31% of King County residents ages 16+ have started the vaccine series (received their first dose) and 16.5% of King County residents ages 16+ are now fully vaccinated. Click here for details.

    King County COVID-19 Vaccine Data At-a-Glance. Page updated daily here.

    Resources

    Coping with COVID-19: Suicide Prevention. Most of us have experienced feeling burnt out, exhausted, and overwhelmed as we navigate the challenges of COVID-19. The risk of suicide, depression, hopelessness, and substance use is typically highest during the disillusionment phase of a disaster, and it’s what we’re seeing right now. Contrary to common belief, the greatest risk of suicide is during the spring, not winter. It’s important we learn how to talk about suicide and suicide prevention when people in our lives may be struggling. Click here for more.

    DOH updates guidance documents regarding masking, quarantining, and recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals. These updates are in line with recent CDC announcements and include information on Phase 3 of Gov. Inslee’s Roadmap to Recovery plan where appropriate.

    The DOH Resources and Recommendations page contains a full list of COVID-19 public health guidance documents. Send questions to COVIDExternalAffairs@doh.wa.gov.

    School News

    Schools May Immediately Implement New CDC Distancing Guidelines. On March 25, the state announced that schools may immediately begin implementing the CDC's new 3-feet distancing guidelines for students. Watch the press conference here and learn more about the CDC's new guidelines here.

    Last Call…

    The Latest on Masks: Layered and Snug. King County Public Health – We are no longer strangers to wearing masks in Washington. They’ve been a daily part of our lives for most of the past year. Even though vaccination rates are improving in Washington, we still need to be careful. There are new COVID-19 variants showing up now that remind us we cannot drop our guard yet. In light of this, and with new guidance from the CDC, we thought we should take a moment to talk about masks again. Follow this link to continue reading King County Public Health’s article on masks.

  • When You Are Fully Vaccinated

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    25 Mar 2021
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    Health officials detail what it means to be fully vaccinated and recommendations for what to do before and after you are fully vaccinated.

    Who is Considered Fully Vaccinated

    According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated:

    • 2-weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
    • 2-weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

    If it has been less than two-weeks since your 1-dose shot, or if you still need to get your second dose of a 2-dose vaccine, health officials remind you that you are not fully protected and recommend that you continue to follow all COVID-19 safety protocols.

    What to Do One Fully Vaccinated

    Here are the recommendations from health officials on what to do after you’ve been vaccinated.

    • You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
    • You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
    • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
      • However, if you live in a group setting and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.
    • You should still take steps to protect yourself and others in many situations, like wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. Take these precautions whenever you are:
    • You should still avoid medium or large-sized gatherings.
    • You should still delay domestic and international travel. If you do travel, you’ll still need to follow CDC requirements and recommendations.
    • You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
    • You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace.

    Also see this visual guide from King County.

    Source: CDC's "When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated”

  • Washington Now in Phase 3

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    22 Mar 2021
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    On March 22, the state moved into Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery Phase 3. Here's what is allowed under Phase 3:

    50% Indoor Capacity

    Under Phase 3, indoor activities at restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters, etc. can operate at 50% occupancy with a 400 person maximum. Phase 3 also permits alcohol service until midnight (previously 11 p.m.). Click here for industry specific guidelines.

    50% Outdoor Capacity for Smaller Locations; 25% for Larger Locations

    The new phase also allows for up to 400 people maximum to attend outdoor activities, as well as events in indoor facilities — so long as 400 people does not exceed 50% capacity for the location, and physical distancing and masking protocols are enforced. Larger venue events are capped at 25% occupancy, or up to 9,000 people, whichever is less, and must follow spectator guidelines.

    Spectators Can Attend Sporting Events

    In-person spectators will be allowed to attend outdoor venues for both professional and high school sporting events (with permanent seating). Capacity capped at 25%. This includes motorsports, rodeos, and other outdoor spectator events. Social distancing and facial covering are still required.

    Meeting New Metrics

    Under Phase 3, the state is returning to evaluating counties individually every three weeks. The evaluations will occur on Mondays with the first evaluation scheduled for April 12. Any possible changes would take effect the following Friday.

    In Phase 3, King County must keep a 14-day average of new COVID cases at or below 200 per 100,000 residents, and a seven-day average of new hospitalizations per 100,000 at 5 or fewer.

    Additionally, if at any point the statewide ICU capacity reaches greater than 90%, all counties will move down one Phase.

    The Department of Health always maintains the ability to move a county forward or backward at their discretion.