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!

  • Enjoying the Great Outdoors

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    09 Dec 2020
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    Summer is here! Time to get outside and play - safely.

    Updated July 17: Mercer Island parks and trails, athletic fields and courts, the boat launch, P-Patch, dog park, skate park, and beaches are open for non-organized recreation!

    Continue to practice physical distancing in parks, on trails, and while boating.

    Remember, King County is in Phase 2 which only allows for gatherings of up to 5 people. Please keep your distance from others and avoid gatherings. Wear a mask when you can't maintain a distance of 6 feet from others.

    Consider visiting early in the morning when parks are much less crowded.

    With our limited staffing, City parks won’t look as maintained as you may be used to. You can help by following “pack it in, pack it out” practices.

    Remember, Safety First when playing around water.

    The MI Boat Launch and beaches are open. As you make your plans to get out on the water, please remember your water safety. Lake Washington is still COLD, and all swimmers and boaters should always wear a life jacket. (See below for more information.)

    Mercer Island beaches are not staffed with lifeguards.

    Many Federal, State, and County parks and trails are open.

    Here are a just few tips to help you and your family stay healthy while enjoying the outdoors:

    1. Plan ahead.
    2. Keep your distance.
      • Recreate with those in your household and up to 5 others.
      • Give others plenty of room, communicate who will step aside on the trail, and don’t forget that trail etiquette gives hikers coming uphill the right of way.
    3. Stay local.
      • Don’t stray too far from home when recreating.
      • Help keep rural communities safe by minimizing stops and bringing all that you’ll need for your outing.
    4. Play it safe.
      • Reduce the risk of injury and adding to the strain on our health care and emergency services by keeping your activities within your comfort and skill level.
    5. Leave no trace.

    Some of the ways we recreate have changed in the era of COVID-19, but don't worry - there are plenty of resources to help you navigate your favorite pastimes. Check out the links below:


  • 2020-2021 School Year Planning Community Webinar - July 30

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    10 Nov 2020
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    On July 30, District leaders hosted a Zoom webinar to share the Learning Forward plans for the 2020-21 school year with the community. The webinar was recorded for those unable to attend. Click here to watch the recording.

    The PowerPoint Presentation from the August 6 School Board Presentation is now available by following this link.

    For more information on planning for the 2020-21 school year, visit mercerislandschools.org/fall2020.

  • Free Mask Giveaway Events Continue

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    09 Dec 2020
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    FREE MASK FRIDAY! Another mask giveaway from our City's fantastic Emergency Management volunteers! Stop by this Friday (August 21) from 7:00-10:00am (while supplies last) for your reusable cloth mask. #MaskUpWA

    • Mercerdale Park (at the corner of SE 32nd St and 78th Ave SE by the picnics tables)
    • Aubrey Davis Park (near the baseball field restrooms)
    • Luther Burbank Park North & South Parking Lots

    Can't make it tomorrow? Stop by the former Tully's lot in Town Center on August 28, from 11:00am-7:00pm!

  • CORONA Survey

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    06 Nov 2020
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    Washington State DOH officials are hoping to understand economic, social, and behavioral impacts and needs of residents across the state. Help them out by taking part in the CORONA Survey.

    The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) launched the CORONA survey to assess the behavioral, economic, social, and emotional impacts and the needs of communities across the state as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Survey results will inform immediate, long-term, and ongoing actions that DOH and local health jurisdictions can take to address the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on Washingtonians.

    In order to appropriately and equitably inform recovery plans at the state and local levels, DOH is requesting residents from across Washington to go to www.wacoronasurvey.com to take part in the survey. (To take the survey by phone, call 855-530-5787—interpreters are available to assist.)

    The survey is voluntary and confidential.

    At the end of the survey, participants will be given the option to provide their name, phone number and/or email address. Each week of the survey, three participants will receive a $100 Amazon.com gift code as a thank you for their time and participation.

    If you have additional questions about the CORONA Survey, you can call the Washington State Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127.

  • Back to School Info & Resources

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    It is time for back to school!

    We recognize that the start to the 2020-2021 school year is a little different, but we wish all of the students, parents, extended families, caregivers, MISD faculty, and staff all the best for the school year!

    For information about the 2020-2021 school year click here: mercerislandschools.org/fall2020 Continue below for Superintendent Colosky's August 31 and the MISD Board's September 7 messages to Mercer Island families.

    Did You Know? Even though school buildings are not physically open, school-based health centers will be open at 34 schools this fall. Click here for more information and locations.

    Looking for ideas on how to help your kids through this quarter? Check out Best Starts for Kids post on Learning Pods: Back to School During a Pandemic.

    On September 11, King County Public Health released this article entitled: Schools Preparing for a Measured Return to In-Person Learning. Click here to read the article.

    The Department of Health has also put out the post, A healthy start to the school year, to help with ideas on making this different start to the school year, a good one.


    Dear MISD families and community,

    Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year!

    Five months ago, when I made the determination that it was necessary to enact an emergency closure of our schools, I continued to be hopeful that our students would come back to our buildings. I knew it would look different with all of the health and safety protocols that we would learn and institute as the science taught us more about how this virus behaves.

    Now as we start the year under the Red Learning phase, I remain optimistic that we will be returning to our classrooms for in-person teaching and learning sooner rather than later. When it is safe to do so, we will bring students back to the school buildings, especially our youngest learners and our learners who are most impacted.

    We will continue to review our plans every three weeks and work in collaboration with Public Health - Seattle and King County as well as referencing the Washington Dept. of Health Decision Tree for reopening that is applicable for all school districts in the state.

    As we analyze the health data, we also will be tracking staff availability, along with student engagement and learning in determining which individuals and small groups may return to in-person learning. Please know that we are listening to your suggestions and reading your emails.

    For students to be able to participate in the Orange Learning phase, the county-wide risk in the decision tree must be moderate or lower. As a reminder, our Orange phase means we will bring some students back for expanded in-person learning and participation. It is an essential element of reopening that we make every effort to keep students in cohorts as we transition to more in-person learning settings. It is also important when we do return to in-person learning, that we implement all the Covid-19 health and safety guidelines.

    There continues to be broad evidence that supports our core value of supporting the whole child. Our first priority during this unprecedented time must be supporting our students’ social and emotional development in order for learning to progress. Although our classrooms will be starting virtually, we must still emphasize relationships as the means to support our students’ learning.

    As our District’s Values, Vision and Mission states “students are the priority,” we will continue to focus on how to personalize our students' learning by getting to know them individually in order to build a trusted relationship, even if it is virtual to begin the school year.

    This school year is going to be like none other, but we are all continuing to learn and grow together. We will greet new students, learn new skills, be frustrated with technology, and continue our work together as a caring community with a growth mindset - our kids need and deserve it.

    Please visit our Fall 2020 website at mercerislandschools.org/fall2020 for continuing updates, and please post your first day photos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #MIFirstDay2020.

    Sincerely,
    Donna Colosky, Superintendent


    September 7, 2020 Message from the MISD Board:

    Dear Mercer Island Schools families and community,

    We hope this first week of the 2020-2021 school year has gone well. The continued COVID-19 pandemic has required us to start the school year in a remote learning environment, with limited exceptions for some of the most impacted students. Additionally, the District is facing a significant reduction in revenue for transportation for the 2020-21 school year due to decreasing availability of financial resources.

    The state has strict guidelines on transportation funding and how it can be allocated and spent, which is for primarily transporting students to and from school. While Governor Inslee has expanded the terms of transportation funding, that funding still applies only to specific job duties. Unless the state Legislature acts to change the funding model, the District does not anticipate receiving any transportation funding for the second half of the 2020-21 school year.

    The District, as directed by School Board policy, must balance our value of 'Students are the Priority' and maintaining a fiscally responsible budget, while ensuring that our employees receive the most generous compensation plan possible.

    At this time, the District is shifting positions in the transportation department that are regularly funded through the state to partial unpaid furlough/stand-by-status. While hours have been reduced, drivers still have some work transporting our more impacted children to and from appointments in school buildings. Affected staff members have been notified, and the School Board will consider the reductions at its September 10 meeting.

    This is not a decision that was made quickly or reactively. The Superintendent and School Board have been advocating for modifications in state funding since March in order to protect our transportation department. The District receives state funding for transportation based on student use for to/from school ridership. Being in a remote learning model has required us to make some incredibly difficult decisions regarding our transportation department staffing.

    Those furloughed will continue receiving District employer contributions to health insurance benefits throughout the school year as determined by the School Employees’ Benefit Board (SEBB). There will be assistance for these employees in applying for unemployment benefits. Human Resources is also working to assist them in being eligible as substitutes for positions in other departments for which they are qualified. We anticipate the furlough to continue during the remote instruction period.

    These are unprecedented times impacting every school district in the state. While that does not provide solace for our valued transportation staff members affected by these adjustments, please know that we continue to push the Governor and the Legislature for clear guidance and adjustments to the transportation funding model that will allow us to maintain staffing, provide services and pivot to in-person learning.

    Please encourage your students to continue to wear masks and maintain the six-foot social distancing so that we can all return to in-person learning as soon as possible.

    Mercer Island School District Board of Directors
    Deborah Lurie, President
    Maggie Tai Tucker, Vice President
    Tam Dinh, Director
    David D’Souza, Director
    Brian Giannini Upton, Director

  • Wildfire Smoke and COVID-19

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    Wildfire smoke can cause symptoms that range from the annoying — eye, nose, and throat irritation — to the dangerous — wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.

    Wildfire smoke is especially harmful for children, pregnant women, and people who are over 65. And if you already have a heart or lung condition like asthma or COVID-19, breathing in wildfire smoke can make it worse.

    Take steps to keep smoke out and have better indoor air quality.

    • You can do this by improving filtration and creating a clean air room in your home. If you create a homemade box fan air filter, never leave it unattended. Left alone, it is a fire hazard.
    • When the air quality is poor, don’t add to indoor air pollution by burning candles or incense, or smoking inside.
    • Close windows and doors when it’s smoky outside but open windows and let in fresh air when there’s better air quality outside.
    • Wear your cloth face covering to slow the spread of COVID-19, but don’t think it is protecting you from the smoke. It keeps droplets from spreading, but lets dangerous microscopic smoke particles right in.
    • Stay informed about wildfire smoke on the Washington Smoke Information blog and your local clean air agency’s website.

    For more information to protect your health visit DOH's Smoke from Fires web page.

    On Tuesday, September 8, the Mercer Island Fire Marshal's Office issued a burn ban and tips to help prevent or stop the spread of brush fires. Follow this link for more information: www.mercerisland.gov/burnban.
  • Mask Giveaway Today!

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    06 Nov 2020
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    Our amazing volunteers will be back out this evening to hand out masks to the community!

    Where: Former Tully's Coffee in Town Center


    When: Tonight (October 15) from 5:00pm-7:00pm


    After you've practiced your Earthquake Preparedness drill (stop, drop, and hold on), head over and grab some washable, reusable, cloth masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your community.

    See you there!

  • Federal and County Tax Extensions

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    10 Nov 2020
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    In an effort to help individuals and businesses during this challenging time, King County and the IRS have extended tax filing deadlines. Please see below for links to information from King County and the IRS.

    King County Postpones Payment Deadline to June 1 for Individual Property Taxpayers

    Individual residential and commercial taxpayers who pay property taxes themselves, rather than through their mortgage lender, can delay payment until June 1, 2020 due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

    Banks and other financial institutions that pay property taxes on behalf of their lending customers will still need to meet the original April 30 deadline.

    For more information visit the King County website: www.kingcounty.gov/elected/executive/constantine/news/release/2020/March/30-property-tax-extension.aspx


    IRS Filing and Payment Deadline Extended to July 15

    The Treasury Department and the IRS are providing special tax filing and payment relief in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. The filing deadline for tax returns has been extended from April 15 to July 15. The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as quickly as possible.

    For those who can't file by the July 15, 2020 deadline, the IRS reminds individual taxpayers that everyone is eligible to request an extension to file their return.

    This filing and payment relief includes:

    • The 2019 income tax filing and payment deadlines for all taxpayers, are automatically extended until July 15.
    • This relief applies to all individual returns, trusts, and corporations.
    • This relief is automatic, taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify.
    • This relief includes estimated tax payments for tax year 2020 that are due on April 15.
    • Penalties and interest will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of July 16.

    Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline can request a filing extension by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004.

    For more information, visit the IRS website: www.irs.gov/newsroom/payment-deadline-extended-to-july-15-2020

  • City Facility Closures and Event Scheduling Update

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    10 Nov 2020

    Apr 14, 2020 – Today the City of Mercer Island announced an update on event and meeting cancellations, and facility closures, for the coming months. In order to maintain ongoing compliance with Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Order, the following are now in effect:

    • City Council Meetings - will continue as live video conferences for the foreseeable future. The next meeting is Tuesday, April 21, at 5:00pm and is viewable on the City’s customary outlets: You Tube and MI-TV Cable Channel 21. Residents can also call into these meeting to listen by phone; meeting details and the agenda are available on the City’s website at www.mercergov.org. Residents with feedback for Council on current issues or agenda items are invited to submit them in advance by 3:00pm on April 21, via the Let’s Talk Council Connects webpage. The City is developing a strategy to resume in-meeting public comment at the May 5 City Council Regular Video Meeting.
    • Most Board and Commission meetings have been canceled for the remainder of April and May; visit City web calendar for details. The Civil Service Commission and Disability Board have necessary business to conduct, and as such, they will hold their meetings via teleconference; please visit City web calendar for call-in details.
    • All City Buildings & Court – closed through at least May 4; building operations will be re-evaluated in coordination with updates from the Governor’s Office, which are anticipated at the end of April.
    • City Special Events and Volunteer Programs – canceled through June (e.g. Friday Night Films, restoration events, etc.)
    • Spring Recreation Programs – canceled through June; a decision on summer recreation programs and summer camps is anticipated by mid-May.
    • Summer Special Events – canceled, including Mostly Music in the Park, Shakespeare in the Park, and National Trails Day.
    • Parks Facilities
      • Closed: playgrounds, ballfields, picnic areas, sport courts, parking lots at parks
      • Open: parks, most park restrooms, dog park, boat launch and P-patch

    This list will be evaluated over the coming weeks. In the meantime, the City encourages everyone to continue heeding the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order, and maintain appropriate social distancing even as the weather warms up and more people are recreating outside.

  • May 14 - Unemployment Payments Paused

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    10 Nov 2020

    Washington to pause unemployment payments after finding $1.6 million in suspected fraudulent claims.

    Washington state officials say they’re pausing unemployment payments for two days while they attempt to block fraudulent claims. The surge comes as the state processes a wave of claims for jobless benefits.

    For more information visit https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment