COVID-19 Information

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


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.


  • Approved for Phase 1.5, King County Moves Forward

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

    The state approved King County to move into a modified Phase 1, allowing limited opening of restaurants, retail, and other business and activities.

    Effective immediately, King County has moved into a modified Phase 1 reopening. Phase 1.5 allows limited and modified openings for a wide range of businesses, recreation, and personal activities in King County. Businesses will be required to follow specific state guidelines for their sector (click here for sector-specific guidance).

    One such change is that businesses will need to reduce indoor operations to 30 minutes to help limit close interactions. Here's what - and how - things will reopen in modified Phase 1:

    Restaurants Outdoor Dining
    • Allowed at 50% of capacity with all tables and chairs maintaining 6 feet of distance.
    Indoor Dining
    • Operate at 25% of capacity, provided such tables and chairs are more than 6 feet away from each other.
    In-Store Retail
    • All non-essential retail activities may operate but an establishment's occupancy may not be not be higher than 15% of capacity.
    • Businesses are directed to provide signage encouraging indoor visits to less than 30 minutes, with face-to-face interactions limited to 30 minutes.
    • Essential retail activities may continue to operate according to the existing state regulations.
    Personal Services
    Cosmetologists, Hairstylists, Barbers, Estheticians, Manicurists, etc.
    • All activities may operate but the number of clients served will be limited to no more than 25% of capacity or one person if it is a single bed/chair studio.
    Professional Services
    Accountants, architects, attorneys, engineers, financial advisors, insurance agents, tax preparers, real estate, and other office-based occupations serving a client base
    • All activities allowed but an establishment's occupancy should not be higher than 25% of capacity.
    • Businesses are directed to provide signage encouraging indoor visits to be less than 30 minutes, with face to face interactions limited to 30 minutes.
    Construction
    • All construction, including those activities for which social distancing may not be maintained and the start of new construction projects, is authorized to resume.
    Fitness
    • Indoor fitness studios may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance but is limited to one on one activities only.
    • All outdoor activities may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance, which limits the occupants to no more than five people outside of a household (excluding the instructor).
    Outdoor recreation
    • All activities may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance, part 1, 2 and 3.
    Social Gatherings
    • Only allowed outdoors with five or fewer people outside the household.


    Have questions? King County has put together a FAQ for modified Phase 1 reopening.

  • Expired: Free Drive-Through Testing at Bellevue College

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    CLOSED: This article has expired and has been archived.
    supporting image

    Free drive-through testing was available at Bellevue College. Registration was required, symptoms are not.

    QFC and Fred Meyer partnered with Bellevue College to offer free drive-through testing for COVID-19 at Bellevue College. People who have recently attended a large gathering can qualify for testing even without exhibiting symptoms.

    • Dates: the month of June
    • Location: Bellevue College

    For the testing, patients remain in their cars throughout the process, which is completed in just a few minutes using self-administered test kits. The test uses self-administered nasal swabs, which are less painful and designed to increase safety. This onsite testing is supported with laboratory services provided by eTrueNorth, a contractor of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    Test results are expected within approximately 48 hours. The Bellevue testing site is estimated to have capacity for 250 vehicles per day.

  • Parking Lots At Major Parks Closed Friday, April 10

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

    Parking lots at all major Mercer Island parks were closed on the evening of April 10 to assist in facilitating social distancing in conjunction with the Governor’s order to Stay Home - Stay Healthy. However, the City recognizes a need for parking access for those who hold a disabled parking placard, and seniors with limited mobility. The following adjustments have been made at the locations listed below to better accommodate the needs of our senior adult and disabled community:

    Luther Burbank Park (South Lot) - Disabled Parking Available

    • Disabled parking spaces will be available during regular park hours for patrons with government-issued handicap placards or license plates.

    Mercerdale Park (Thrift Shop Lot) – Disabled and “Senior-Only” Parking Available

    • Disabled parking spaces will be available during regular park hours for patrons with government-issued handicap placards or license plates.
    • Senior adult only parking will be available to our senior population throughout the regular park hours. Note: A placard is not required

    Mercerdale Park – New Senior Hours; Monday - Friday, 7:00am-10:00am

    • For older adults and people with serious underlying medical conditions who might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
    • Please respect these hours to safely accommodate our senior adult park users.

    Staff are evaluating parks activities daily and operations will be modified if problems arise.

    Please call (206) 275-7626 with questions.

  • Phased Reopening Requirements - Updated

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

    On Friday, May 29, Governor Inslee announced that the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order will expire as planned at midnight on May 31, 2020. Replacing the Stay Home Order, is an expanded Safe Start – Washington’s Phased Reopening.

    The newly expanded Safe Start gives counties more flexibility in allowing additional approved activities. A county not yet eligible for Phase 2 may move into a "modified" Phase 1, allowing for some Phase 2 activities.

    King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a proposed plan to re-open limited activity in the county, under the option to enter into a modified Phase 1. Pending state approval, King County is preparing to move forward to allow limited or modified opening for business sectors and activities including recreation and fitness, in-store retail, real estate, personal and professional services, and more.

    The Governor also announced that the updated target for incidence of new COVID-19 cases reported during a two-week period is now less than 25 per 100,000 residents, where the prior goal was less 10 per 100,000 residents.

    Earlier this week, King County released a key indicators data dashboard that provides a snapshot of useful indicators and metrics related to COVID-19 activity in the county. The dashboard provides data and trends for the numbers of reported cases; the growth, stabilization, or shrinking of the outbreak; testing capacity; healthcare system readiness; and more.

    Beginning June 1, any county can apply to move to the next phase. The application process will involve meeting criteria established by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) around five key areas:

    • Virus activity,
    • Healthcare system readiness,
    • Testing,
    • Contact tracing, and
    • Protecting vulnerable populations.

    Also, beginning June 8, all workers will be required to wear face coverings and employers must post signage that strongly encourages customers to wear face coverings.

    Follow this link for more information on the Safe Start - Washington's Phased Reopening by County.

  • Governor Inslee Extends Stay Home Order to May 4

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

    UPDATED

    Apr 2, 2020 - The Governor has extended his "Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order" through May 4. See press release here.


    Mar 23, 2020 - Governor Inslee announced further statewide measures designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak across Washington State.

    Effective immediately, this new “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order legally requires all residents to curtail all social activity, and bans ALL gatherings of any size, public or private.

    Within 48 hours it also closes all businesses except those deemed essential. Essential businesses allowed to stay open (with appropriate protective measures) include emergency services, childcare, supermarkets, pharmacies, groceries, food pantries, pet supply, transportation, financial services, and local government.

    The new ban also does not limit take-out meals, food delivery, and drive-thru food/beverage services - please continue to support your favorite local restaurants.

    Exercise and other outdoor activities are considered critical for their physical and mental benefits; therefore pursuits such as walking, gardening, bicycle rides, are all permitted as long as 6 feet of social distancing is in place.

    In the coming days, the Governor’s office will provide additional clarifying information that is expected to answer many of the most frequently asked questions generated by tonight’s announcement. Please check the City’s Coronavirus website for future updates.

    The Governor’s new order builds on previous restrictions that already prohibited any gatherings of more than 50 people statewide and significantly restricted events of less than 50 people.

    "With no treatment or vaccine, the single most important thing all of us must do is to stay home and avoid all non-essential contact with others, " according to Public Health – Seattle & King County

    While staying home is challenging, we all can assume that we might be carrying the virus, and we could be spreading the infection any time we have close contact with someone. With that in mind, Public Health officials state that everyone should stay at home as much as they can (except for exercise needs) and limit shopping trips to only the most essential items.

  • Police Chief's Statement Regarding "Stay Home" Order

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    This news item has been archived.

    Mar 24, 2020

    Dear Mercer Island Community,


    Your police department is working hard to ensure public safety during this difficult time. We want to emphasize education over enforcement during this "Stay at Home" order from the Governor. We have been discussing this with the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs and with our regional law enforcement agencies.

    Law enforcement's primary role is to help educate people about how to comply with orders to stay at home. We are not being asked to detain, arrest, ticket or establish checkpoints for compliance. Rumors of strict law enforcement or "martial law" are not true.

    We will focus on educating residents on how to keep themselves safe, how to keep their families safe and most importantly, to keep the rest of the community safe, especially our vulnerable populations.

    We understand some people need to carry out essential services such as:

    1. Safety and security
    2. Food, water, shelter
    3. Health and medical
    4. Energy (power and fuel)
    5. Communications
    6. Transportation

    Most in our community have shown they understand the severity of the situation and are doing what they can to keep themselves, their families, and neighbors safe and healthy.

    When officers encounter people not complying with an order, we will remind them, as appropriate, of the recommendations and restrictions. No law enforcement agencies have any desire to make any arrests or take anybody to jail for violations. Rumors of individuals or businesses needing "passes" or "licenses" to conduct essential services are not true.

    Rest assured we will continue to serve you every minute of every day and we will always enforce the laws that keep people safe.

    Do your part and Stay Home, Save Lives.


    Thank you,

    Mercer Island Police Chief Ed Holmes

  • Congratulations MIHS Grads!

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

    Congratulations graduates! You did it!

    We know your senior year and graduation looked very different from what you imagined, but your accomplishment is no less significant. You should be proud, we certainly are!

    From the entire staff at the City of Mercer Island, here's to a bright, bright future!

    Well done!

  • State Easing Outdoor Restrictions

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

    Beginning Tuesday, May 5, some outdoor recreation will be allowed with appropriate safety precautions.

    Fishing, hunting, playing golf, day use at state parks, state public lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources and at state Fish and Wildlife areas are now permitted, however some parks may not open immediately due to impacts on rural communities and the potential for crowding. State Parks is working with local communities and its partners to determine the best approach and timing to reopening these areas.

    Visitor centers, camping and other overnight accommodations on state-managed lands will remain closed.

    King County Parks is working through a phased-in reopening scenario for its parks, trails and other facilities, likely starting with natural lands and regional trails.

    Parks patrons, anglers, and hunters should only venture out well-prepared.

    The public should expect limited access to restrooms. WDFW is also recommending that people bring their own handwashing materials, toilet paper, and masks or bandanas, and be prepared to change plans if sites appear congested.

    Any additional relaxing of outdoor recreation restrictions will depend on data and compliance. The governor outlined the following guidelines:

    • If you feel sick at all, even a little bit, you need to stay home. Wait until you feel better.
    • Gatherings are still prohibited. You can golf or fish or hunt or go to the park with people in your own household, but not with your other friends or family just yet.
    • People must recreate locally: Do not travel farther than necessary and do not stay overnight to recreate.
    • Any public land or recreation site may be closed to curtail unsafe conditions.
    • Practice social distancing at trailheads, boat launches, and all areas where you encounter others and utilize facial coverings in any situation where social distancing is not possible.
    • Golfers: space out tee times, limits on size of parties, walking-only (unless for mobility), no on-site beverage or food service (take-away only) and more.
    • Bringing your own food and supplies when possible will also help reduce exposure.

    Click the links below for more information :

  • Message from the City Council

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    This news item has been archived.

    Mar 23, 2020

    Dear Mercer Island Community,

    When you receive warnings or see signs restricting or limiting public gathering, please show your care for each other by complying with both the spirit and letter of them. With thoughtfulness and compassion, we will get through this crisis together.

    Life as we have known it has changed in unimaginable ways during the last few months because of the COVID-19 virus. Events are canceled. Schools are closed. Some businesses are closed. Others are struggling to stay afloat. The term “social distancing” is now part of our everyday language.

    Sadly, according to our health officials it does not appear that this health crisis will end any time soon. As the City Council works alongside the City Manager and her leadership team to ensure that core services continue to be provided to our community, it is also incumbent upon each and every one of us to do more to help.

    We believe that the most important action individual Islanders can take is to follow the advice and recommendations of our public health authorities by engaging in social distancing wherever you are and by staying at home to the fullest extent that you can.

    We are all confronted daily by this serious health issue that affects all ages, and we all have a part to play in slowing the spread of the virus. That means we need to think not only about how our actions might increase our own risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus, but also how our actions might increase the risk that others will contract this virus and suffer great impact to their lives. We also encourage parents to emphasize the importance of social distancing with your children.

    Stay safe and healthy.

    Sincerely,

    Mayor Benson Wong
    Deputy Mayor Wendy Weiker
    Councilmember Lisa Anderl
    Councilmember Jake Jacobson
    Councilmember Salim Nice
    Councilmember Craig Reynolds
    Councilmember David Rosenbaum

  • Closed: All Playgrounds and Sport Courts

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
    supporting image
    Mar 20, 2020 - As part of its evolving response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and with guidance from Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC), the City of Mercer Island is closing all park playgrounds, sport courts, and picnic shelters, effective immediately.

    On Saturday morning, March 21, parks staff will post signage at these facilities, and at nearby park entrances.

    “With schools closed and many more people working from home, our extensive parks and open spaces are providing much-needed mental and physical stress-relief,” said interim Parks and Recreation Director Ryan Daly. “But we have determined that it’s in the best interest of all park patrons to close playgrounds, courts, and picnic shelters. Park patrons should also avoid gatherings, team sports, and pick-up games.”

    The City’s many parks, trails, and open spaces will remain OPEN, as will park restrooms provided park patrons adhere to Public Health guidelines. “This is an unprecedented situation and we want to keep our parks open for casual visits, but we absolutely need the community’s support and adherence to social-distancing guidelines,” said City Manager Jessi Bon. “Let’s work together to keep everyone safe in our outdoor park spaces.”

    Residents are encouraged to get out and enjoy the sunshine, while following Public Health guidelines:
    Practice social distancing, leaving at least 6 feet between others.
    Wash hands often with soap and water; if not available, use hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
    • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
    For directions and a list of great park opportunities visit this page.

    Parks and Recreation staff are collecting photos of the creative ways you, your family, and even your pets, are still enjoying the outdoors while practicing safe social distancing; please Email your photos to katie.herzog@mercergov.org.


Page last updated: 06 December 2021, 11:06