COVID-19 Information

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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.



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.


  • Protective Measures

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    These are steps you can take proactively to reduce the spread of novel coronavirus:

    • If sick (fever/cough) STAY HOME.
    • Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue or your arm.

    • Wash your hands or use alcohol-based sanitizer often throughout the day.

    • Get in the habit of NOT touching your face so often.

    • Disinfect high-touch areas throughout the day. Don’t forget phones, light switches, door handles, and keyboards.

    • Forgo the handshake for a wave or “elbow bump”.

    • Eat healthy, stay hydrated, and get plenty of rest.

    To prepare for a pandemic at home you should consider:

    • Having plans to care for family members when schools, daycares, or senior centers are closed. It is encouraged to have a plan and a backup plan.

    • Having enough non-perishable food at home so trips to the grocery store can be limited or avoided for at least 3 – 4 weeks.

    • Cleaning your living area more often, including wiping down small electronics, door handles, and other items commonly touched by many people.

  • News for the Week of December 14

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    News highlights for the week of December 14.

    Vaccines Arrive; Watch Fred Hutch Webinar on Vaccine Safety and Development. On December 14, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Washington and first doses will be administered starting this week. Click here for more.

    First Doses of Vaccine Arrive in King County. It’s a remarkable milestone that the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are on the ground in our community. Public Health – Seattle & King County is one of several healthcare providers receiving limited quantities of COVID-19 vaccine this week. Hospital systems in King County will receive approximately 17,000 doses of vaccine in this first distribution, with Public Health scheduled to receive 3,900 doses. Read more at Public Heath Insider.

    Updated vaccine allocation numbers. The Department of Health was contacted by Operation Warp Speed yesterday evening and told that Washington’s Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine allocation will be 44,850 doses rather than the 74,100 doses the state expected to receive. The state was not given an explanation as to why the allocation was reduced, and do not currently have allocation numbers beyond next week. The state still expects to receive the remaining Pfizer-BioNTech doses we ordered for this first week (62,400 total doses). Read the full news release here.

    More doses of vaccine on the way as statewide vaccination effort continues. On Wednesday, the DOH announced that it anticipates receiving tens of thousands more doses of COVID-19 vaccine later this week. 31,200 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have already arrived in Washington, and the state will be getting 29,250 additional doses later this week. These doses will be delivered to a total of 39 sites covering 29 counties. Additionally, 1950 total doses will go to three tribes or Urban Indian Health Programs this week. Read more here.

    COVID-19 safety behaviors remain necessary, even as vaccinations begin. As the first COVID-19 vaccinations begin this week, the State DOH is reminding people that it is very important to continue taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Click here for more from the DOH.

    Winter Holidays. The safest way to celebrate winter holidays is to celebrate at home with the people who live with you. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. With COVID-19 cases on the rise, the safest way to celebrate holidays is to stay home and celebrate with the people who live with you. Although the pandemic has been stressful and isolating, getting together with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu. This holiday season, consider how your plans can be modified to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep your friends, families, and communities healthy. Click here for more information and fun ideas!

    Information for Businesses

    Free safety supplies available for bars and restaurants. The January 2021 schedule of locations where bar and restaurant owners can pick up free COVID-19 safety supplies is now available and includes facemasks, gloves, thermometer, hand sanitizer, disinfecting solutions, posters and educational materials. Click here for more information.

    Why you should be cautious when you're taking a break at work. There's no respite from the fight against COVID-19 – not even in the workplace breakroom. In fact, the place workers go to relax on the job can be a high-risk location for transmission of the coronavirus. Read how one King County business has tackled the COVID-19 era breakroom.

    School News

    Inslee announces updated school guidance for in-person instruction. On Wednesday, Gov. Jay Inslee and Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal announced an update in the metrics used to inform local school district decisions for in-person learning. They also announced $3 million from set aside funds to be distributed to implement health and safety protocols. The update to the school health and safety toolkit comes after recent data showed limited COVID-19 transmission in school environments when state health and safety protocols are implemented. Click here for more information on the Governor’s announcement.

    State releases updated guidance around in-person learning. The DOH released updated metrics to help local leaders and school officials make decisions about in-person learning and the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the school environment. Changes to the metrics include revisions to the COVID-19 incidence rates to consider when making decisions about who to prioritize for in-person learning. We’ve also included further clarification that local leaders should consider test positivity and trends in cases and hospitalizations to inform decisions about in-person learning, in addition to what they’re already considering. Click here for the metrics.

    Resources

    Coping with COVID: Healthy communication. During the December holidays in the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many opportunities for tough conversations with family and friends. We may have differing opinions on how to celebrate the holidays while keeping ourselves and our families safe, and it can be hard to share those opinions when you want to keep the peace. Click here to learn about what’s happening with our emotions and behaviors, and skills for having challenging conversations during stressful times. Catch up on the full Coping with COVID series here.

    COVID-19 Reporting

    Antigen positive test results now included in DOH dashboards. Starting Wednesday, the DOH began including antigen-positive COVID-19 cases in the COVID-19 Data Dashboard and the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Dashboard. Antigen-positive testing data had previously been included in a separate weekly report. With this inclusion, the DOH notes that reporting antigen-positive test results will provide a more accurate picture of community transmission and help guide efforts to respond to COVID-19. Click here to learn more about the updated reporting for antigen-positive testing.

    Last Call…

    December 18 Situation Report. Click this link for highlights and information from the 41st week of the City’s response to the pandemic. This will be the final Situation Report for the year. We will resume updates in January.


    Due to the Christmas holiday, there will be no news highlights next week. Look for the next news highlights on December 31.

    Happy Holidays!

  • Celebrating the Holidays

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    The safest way to celebrate winter holidays is to celebrate at home with the people who live with you.

    According to federal, state, and local heath officials, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. This holiday season, consider how your plans can be modified to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep your friends, families, and communities healthy.*

    Here are some fun tips to keep you, your family, and friends safe and healthy this holiday season:

    Consider other activities to celebrate New Year’s, such as:

    • Have virtual celebrations with loved ones.
    • Plan a New Year’s party for the people who live with you.
    • Plan a neighborhood countdown to midnight.
    • Watch a livestreamed firework display, concert, First Night event, or other New Year’s programming from your home.

    Host a virtual celebration with friends and family

    • Schedule a time to eat a meal together virtually and have people show their main dish, vegetable, or dessert.
    • Host a virtual “ugly” holiday sweater contest.
    • A family is shown indoors, holding presents, with a laptop in front of them. They are talking to other individuals who are shown on the laptop screen.

    Gather virtually for a gift exchange or activity

    • Schedule a time to meet virtually to open gifts together.
    • Build gingerbread houses, decorate cookies, or make holiday crafts and decorations.
    • People walking in snow in front of housing and social distancing

    Decorate for the season

    • Decorate or create a winter holiday scene. (Bonus! Take family photos at home in front of your decorations/scene).
    • Make holiday crafts, cards, or cookies to send or deliver to family, friends, and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others, such as leaving them at the door.

    Enjoy fellow Islander's decorations

    • The Mercer Island Preschool Association has created a great new map of holiday lights & decorations! Buy one today online, make your cocoa-to-go, and then start your driving tour.
    • For more details: https://miholidaylightsmap.com

    Enjoy the winter weather

    The mountains have seen recent snow and are calling!

    • Go sledding / skiing / snowboarding / snowshoeing. (Make sure to check resort COVID-19 changes before heading out, reservations may be required: Summit at Snoqualmie; Mt. Baker; Crystal Mountain)
    • Have a family snowman or snow angel contest.
    • Build a snow fort or other snow structure.

    Throw a virtual dance party

    • For winter holidays that traditionally include music and dance, set aside time with loved ones to meet online to share music and dance.
    • Collaborate with friends and family on a holiday playlist.

    *Here in Washington we are under a travel advisory for interstate and international travel, and in-home gatherings with people outside the household are prohibited unless participants quarantine for fourteen days (14) prior to the social gathering or 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. Read more about Governor's tightened restrictions here.

  • Vaccines Arrive; Watch Fred Hutch Webinar on Vaccine Safety and Development

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    People in Phase 1a will begin to receive vaccinations this week.

    On December 14, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Washington and first doses will be administered starting this week, thanks to Operation Warp Speed.

    Emergency Use Authorization and Multi-State Workgroup Approval

    On December 12, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in people aged 16 and older. On December 13, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, of which Washington is a member, also announced approval of the vaccine.

    Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

    The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a two-dose vaccine, given 21 days apart.

    Clinical trial data show the vaccine is 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 infection starting 7 days after the second dose. Individuals will not be considered fully protected until 1 to 2 weeks after they receive the second dose. The clinical trials revealed no major unanticipated adverse events.

    “The data we are seeing from Pfizer and Moderna are clear, transparent and demonstrated safe and effective,” said Dr. Moncef Slaoui, Operation Warp Speed Chief Science Advisor

    Gen. Gus Perna, Operation Warp Speed Chief Operating Officer added, “Don't allow one headline to determine what you're going to do. There is so much available information. I encourage everybody, as individuals, to inform themselves and then make the decision that is best for you and your family.”

    Washington Phase 1A

    The state expects to receive 62,400 doses of vaccine this week. The first distribution will go to 17 sites across 13 counties. The federal government has estimated a total distribution of 222,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of December with regular weekly shipments beginning in January.

    The first doses of vaccine will go to people in Phase 1a. This phase includes high-risk workers in health care settings, high-risk first responders, and patients and staff of long-term care facilities. The state estimates around 500,000 people in Washington will be eligible for the vaccine in phase 1a. Read more details about phase 1a here.

    The state will share more about who will be vaccinated in later phases from guidance made by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. You can view the interim plan on their coronavirus vaccine webpage, www.CovidVaccineWA.org.

    Vaccine Development and Safety

    With how quickly vaccine makers developed COVID-19 vaccines, many have wondered how vaccines are developed and the safety protocols required when developing vaccines. There are several resources to help answer those questions.

    Vaccine Development and Safety Webinar with Fred Hutch Experts

    The State DOH, in partnership with The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Latino Center for Health, will host two online panel discussions to answer frequently asked questions about vaccines in the era of COVID-19.

    The webinars will feature trusted medical experts from around Washington state, such as virologist Dr. Larry Corey, M.D., who has been integral to Fred Hutch’s COVID-19 vaccine research and Phase III trials, along with physicians who administer vaccines every day. The webinars, one presented in English and one in Spanish, will take place at the following times:

    December 15, 5:00 p.m. Making Sense of Vaccines During COVID-19. Register here

    • Panelists: Dr. Larry Corey, Dr. Ben Danielson, Dr. Gretchen LaSalle, Moderator: Louis Shackelford

    December 17, 6:30 p.m. Vacunas contra el COVID: Verdades, mitos y preguntas with the Latino Center for Health. Register here.

    • Panelists: Leo Morales, MD, PhD, Matías Valenzuela, PhD, Julian Perez, MD, Santiago Neme, MD, MPH, Moderator: Pablo Gaviria

    If you are unable to attend, a link to a recording of the webinar will be emailed to those who registered.

    CDC: 8 Things to Know about the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program

    Now that there is an authorized and recommended vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in the United States, here are 8 things you need to know about the new COVID-19 Vaccination Program and COVID-19 vaccines.

    What is an EUA?

    The first COVID-19 vaccine is being used under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). An EUA is a mechanism to facilitate the availability and use of vaccines and other medical countermeasures during public health emergencies. Under an EUA, the FDA may allow the use of unapproved medical products, or unapproved uses of approved medical products in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions when certain statutory criteria have been met.

    The FDA will evaluate EUA requests and determine whether the relevant statutory criteria are met, taking into account the totality of the scientific evidence about the vaccine that is available to FDA. Click here to watch a video about EUAs.

    COVID-19 Vaccine Rigorously Tested

    Clinical trials evaluated investigational COVID-19 vaccines in tens of thousands of study participants to generate the scientific data and other information needed by FDA to determine safety and effectiveness. These clinical trials are being conducted according to the rigorous standards set forth by the FDA. Click here to read more.

    V-Safe

    The CDC has also developed v-safe, a new smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines. This additional layer of safety monitoring helps increase the CDC’s ability to rapidly detect any safety issues with COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe will also remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one.

  • News for the Week of December 7

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    News highlights for the week of December 7.

    Update on COVID-19 reporting backlog. WA DOH has caught up with processing most of the backlog in positive COVID-19 test results created by temporary system slowdowns last week. The Department also resumed reporting negative test results after a temporary pause. Note, not all negative test results between November 21 and December 7 have been processed. Read more here.

    Testing and Traveling During the Holiday Season. The holiday season has arrived as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout our communities. Two major ways to help protect our communities is by limiting our travel and testing for the coronavirus. King County is sharing some of the questions they’ve been fielding about testing and traveling to help with your decisions to have a safer holiday season. Click here for more info.

    Plan ahead for holiday scheduling at COVID-19 test locations. Due to the upcoming holidays, some sites will have limited dates and times.

    Expansion of testing into the Eastside of King County. A new site at Bellevue College will open on Tuesday, expanding efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in east King County and along the I-90 corridor. This will be the first free, high-capacity COVID-19 test site on the Eastside. Click here for more.

    Unemployment Benefits Update: Job search requirements to remain suspended through January 19, 2021. The governor, with support from the Legislature, has announced that job search requirements will remain suspended through Jan. 19, 2021. This means the soonest claimants will be required to actively seek work is the week of January 24. You can continue to answer “no” to the job search question on your weekly claim until the suspension is lifted. More information is available here.

    Governor Extends Restrictions Through January 4. In mid-November the Governor implemented a series of restrictions to try to curb the spread of COVID-19. On December 8 he extended those restrictions through January 4. Click here for more information.

    Additional $50 million Available for Small Businesses. On December 8, Gov. Jay Inslee announced additional economic supports of $50 million for workers and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the total for Round 3 Working Washington Small Business Grants to $100 million. The additional money, doubles the number of Washington small businesses that will receive aid. Apply by December 11!

    Vaccine News

    COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan update from the State Department of Health. If everything goes as planned, the WA DOH expects to have the vaccine delivered early next week. The federal government has estimated that WA will receive 62,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for initial allocations next week, assuming the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the emergency use authorization. That state expects additional allocations for a total of about 222,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of December. That’s about 20,000 more than originally thought. For the rest of the state’s update, click here.

    Making sense of vaccines during COVID-19. Join the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center and the State DOH in a live conversation that will go beyond the headlines to give you the vaccine answers you need, straight from the experts. Learn more or register for this event here.

    School News

    December 9 Community Webinar Presentation Video Available. On December 9, MISD Superintendent Colosky, Board Members, and staff updated the community via a virtual webinar. Watch the video or view the presentation slides here.

    Resources

    Care Connect Washington – A new way to get COVID-19 relief. On December 9, the DOH announced a new service to help people who have to isolate or quarantine at home after testing positive for COVID-19 or being exposed. Care Connect Washington will provide critical resources to people who need support when they’re staying home. Care coordinators will connect people to community-based services such as medication delivery, health care, help applying for unemployment, local housing agencies, food banks, childcare providers and more. Click here for information about the program.

    Coping with COVID: Exhausted families. Right now, many of us are feeling mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted from the ongoing stress of living through a pandemic. Both kids and adults can experience exhaustion, where they may feel depleted, like they are running on empty, using up all their physical and emotional energy without a chance to recharge. Learn about about how exhaustion affects both children and adults, and strategies for families to cope as we make our way through the pandemic here.

    New free test site in Enumclaw. Starting Thursday, December 10, communities in southeast King County will have a new option for COVID-19 testing at a free testing site in Enumclaw. The testing site is open to anyone, regardless of insurance or immigration status. For all available testing sites, click here.

    State Ready to Help with Unemployment Assistance. On December 8, Governor Inslee announced that the state will help provide Washington residents with unemployment assistance if Congress does not extend CARES Act Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funding at the end of the year.

    COVID-19 Reporting

    Department of Health improves how it reports COVID-19 deaths. To provide more accurate daily reports, the State DOH is changing how it reports COVID-19 deaths. Rather than a preliminary cause of death, the agency will only use the official registered cause of death on the DOH dashboard, providing more precise reporting. The State’s normal process for releasing final death data is complex, involves multiple data systems, and can take up to 18 months from start to finish. Deaths due to factors other than COVID-19 can be hard to definitively rule out. Reporting changes will result in an adjustment of death totals, including a removal of some deaths from figures made public. Read the full release here.

    Last Call…

    December 11 Situation Report. For highlights and information from the 40th week of the City’s response to the pandemic, click here.

    Video Update from the City Manager. City Manager Jessi Bon gave her final video update for 2020 on December 1. Follow this link to get caught up on the video updates for the year.

  • Additional $50 million Available for Small Businesses

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    An additional $50 million in aid has been made available to Washington businesses. Apply by December 11!

    On December 8, Gov. Jay Inslee announced additional economic supports of $50 million for workers and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the total for Round 3 Working Washington Small Business Grants to $100 million. The additional money, doubles the number of Washington small businesses that will receive aid.

    Applications for up to $20,000 in emergency funding opens early this week.

    Industries recently shut down, such as restaurants and fitness centers, as well as businesses that have been devastatingly impacted throughout the pandemic, like music and event venues, have been prioritized, including:

    • Small businesses with annual revenues of $5 million or less in 2019

    AND

    Businesses in the sectors that are most impacted by the recent public health measures or sectors that have experienced significant, cumulative impacts. Examples include full-service restaurants, fitness centers, bowling alleys and music and event venues.

    • Certain nonprofits may also be eligible if they have a primary business activity that falls into a similar category as noted above. Example – a nonprofit full-service restaurant or nonprofit music venue.
    • If Commerce is able to fund all the eligible applicants from the priority pool, and funds remain, we may be able to provide grants to additional businesses or nonprofits from other sectors or who have annual revenues larger than $5 million.

    Round 3 Working Washington Small Business Grants will be awarded up to $20,000 and will cover:

    • Expenses or costs incurred due to COVID-19 and that were necessary to continue business operations.

    The application includes an eligibility checklist with the following criteria:

    • The expense is connected to the COVID-19 emergency.
    • The expense is “necessary” to continue business operations.
    • The expense is not filling a short fall in government revenues. (i.e. taxes, licenses, state, county, federal and/or city fees)
    • The Business will self–attest that the expense is not funded by any other funder, whether private, State or Federal.
    • The business wouldn’t be requesting assistance with expenses if they had not been impacted COVID-19.
    • The application has more detail regarding what expenses are covered by this grant.

    The online application portal will open this week and a link to the application will appear on the Department of Commerce website: http://startup.choosewashingtonstate.com/working-washington-round-3/

    Priority will be given to applications received by Dec. 11, 2020.

  • News for the Week of November 9

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    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.


  • Travel Advisory Issued for Interstate and International Travel

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    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 16

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    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.

  • News for the Week of November 23

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    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.

Page last updated: 14 Apr 2022, 01:11 PM