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.


  • Update on City Facilities and Programs

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    Updated COVID-19 protective measures at City facilities.

    On September 22, the City announced that it has adjusted operations and reallocated resources to best support City services and protect the community’s health.

    Given increased COVID-19 transmission and breakthrough cases pose specific challenges to essential City operations, including personnel shortages due to exposure or infection, City Hall will remain closed to the public and Council, board, and commission meetings will remain virtual. Most City operations that were traditionally conducted at City Hall (such as permitting, bill payments and public meetings) have been operating virtually since early last year and will continue to do so.

    Here's the latest information on programs, events, and general reopening:

    Available Events and Programs

    Closed City Facilities

    • City Hall (except Court)
    • Luther Burbank Admin Building
    • Fire Stations not open for drop-in visits (unless emergency)

    Public Meetings Still Virtual

    This page will be updated regularly.

    Last updated: September 23, 2021

  • News for the Week of September 6

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    News highlights for the week of September 6.

    Latest Numbers. In Mercer Island, there have been 820 positive cases reported as of September 10. DOH reported a total of 531,294 confirmed cases as of September 8. There have been 6,850 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. For the latest city and county data, click here.

    King County working on vaccine verification requirements for some non-essential indoor business activities and other venues; would go into effect in October. King County is conducting outreach with business and community organizations to develop vaccine verification requirements for some non-essential indoor business activities and other venues. The requirements will go into effect at least five weeks after developed. Click here to read more.

    Get a vaccine, exposure notifications, and testing. Use the DOH vaccine locator to find a vaccination site. Next, get WA Notify so you’ll know if you’ve been near another person who later tests positive for COVID-19. To get quickly and easily tested anywhere in Washington, visit the DOH COVID-19 testing locations page.

    Situation Reports. Click here to catch up on the latest information and reports.

    Vaccine News

    Local Vaccination Summary. As of September 10, the County reports that 94.2% of Mercer Island resident ages 12-and-up, have completed a vaccine series. Countywide, 84.7% of residents have had at least one dose and 78.5% of King County residents have completed their vaccine series.

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

    Need vaccine support? Call the DOH support line 1-833-VAX-HELP for assistance.

    Last Call…

    White House Announces Coming Vaccine Emergency Rule. As announced on Thursday, September 9, the U.S. Department of Labor will be developing an emergency rule to require all employers in the United States with 100 or more employees, to require that their workforce is fully vaccinated or that workers show a negative test at least once a week. Read more here.

  • News for the Week of August 30

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    News highlights for the week of August 30.

    Latest Numbers. In Mercer Island, there have been 795 positive cases reported as of September 3. DOH reported a total of 512,162 confirmed cases as of September 1. There have been 6,643 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. For the latest city and county data, click here.

    King County requiring masks at large outdoor gatherings. Public Health – Seattle & King County has issued a Local Health Order requiring face masks at any outdoor event with 500 or more people in attendance. This requirement applies to all vaccinated and unvaccinated people, 5 years of age and older. Read more here.

    Situation Reports. Click here to catch up on the latest information and reports.

    Vaccine News

    Local Vaccination Summary. As of September 2, the County reports that 93.7% of Mercer Island resident ages 12-and-up, have completed a vaccine series. Countywide, 84.1% of residents have had at least one dose and 77.9% of King County residents have completed their vaccine series.

    COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough report. DOH provides data and criteria on fully vaccinated people who test positive with COVID-19 and may or may not develop symptoms. 21,757 vaccine breakthrough cases have been identified in Washington State between January 17, 2021 - August 21, 2021. Read the full September 1 report.

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

    Need vaccine support? Call the DOH support line 1-833-VAX-HELP for assistance.

    School News

    Testing programs ramp up as students return to school. COVID-19 testing at schools is a crucial way to track and prevent disease spread, so DOH has partnered with the Health Commons Project to provide districts with end-to-end testing support, including a testing strategist to help develop the best strategy and tools. Read the full news release.

    Back to School Tips. King County has recommendations for keeping kids safe as they head back to school. Click here to learn more.

    COVID-19 Reporting

    COVID-19 long-term care report. As of Aug. 30, a total of 22,094 COVID-19 cases and 2,759 deaths have been identified as associated or likely associated with a long-term care facility (such as nursing home, assisted living facility, or adult family home). These cases include residents as well as employees and visitors. Read the full August 31 report.

    New King County Data Dashboard. The County as created a new data dashboard that tracks COVID-19 risk for unvaccinated people compared to vaccinated people. Click here to see the dashboard.

  • King County requiring masks at large outdoor gatherings beginning September 7

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    Public Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin issued an order requiring masks at large outdoor gatherings.

    Public Health – Seattle & King County is issuing a Local Health Officer Order. Beginning Tuesday, September 7:

    • Face masks are required at any outdoor event with 500 or more people in attendance. This requirement applies to all vaccinated and unvaccinated people, 5 years of age and older.
    • Masks are strongly recommended for everyone 5 years of age and older – both vaccinated and unvaccinated – in any other outdoor setting where people cannot remain at least 6 feet apart from non-household members.

    Masks are still required for everyone 5 and older in indoor public settings, such as grocery stores, malls, gyms, and community centers. This requirement supports Washington’s statewide order for wearing masks indoors.

    Why outdoors?

    The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads through the air. We know that outdoors, with its natural ventilation and airflow, is much safer than indoors. However, the virus that causes COVID-19 can still sometimes spread outdoors, especially in large groups where physical distancing is difficult or impossible. This is an even greater risk now that the highly contagious Delta variant is dominant in King County.

    Well-made, snug-fitting masks provide crucial protection against COVID-19.

    Why do unvaccinated and vaccinated people need to wear masks?

    While we have some of the highest vaccination rates of any large metro area in the United States, there are still approximately 750,000 people in King County who remain unvaccinated and susceptible to COVID-19. This includes children under 12 who don’t yet have the option of getting vaccinated.

    Vaccinated people are at much lower risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 than unvaccinated people, and the vaccines offer extremely good protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death. But the risk is not zero, even for vaccinated people, and the fast-spreading Delta variant raises the risk for everyone.

    The latest surge of COVID-19 cases is taking a heavy toll on hospital capacity. Hospitals are more crowded than at any point since the pandemic began, and our healthcare workers are stressed and stretched thin.

    Other counties and cities around the country are reporting their healthcare systems have run out of beds and oxygen because of the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases. They are having to turn away people in need from hospital care. We do not want this to happen in King County, and that’s why we’re taking action.

    The high rates of community spread and the large burden on the health care system mean that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people need to take extra precautions right now, including wearing masks.

    King County’s new order is consistent with the latest guidance from the Washington State Department of Health, which strongly recommends that all people, regardless of vaccination status, wear a face covering in crowded outdoor settings.

    Originally published in the King County Public Health Insider on September 2, 2021.

  • News for the Week of August 23

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    News highlights for the week of August 23.

    Latest Numbers. In Mercer Island, there have been 765 positive cases reported as of August 26. DOH reported a total of 491,869 confirmed cases as of August 25. There have been 6,471 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. For the latest city and county data, click here.

    All About Home Testing. It’s easier than ever for people who buy home tests to report their own results. Click here to learn about which tests are best, how to report, and what to do when you get your result.

    New COVID-19 isolation and quarantine calculator. Have you tested positive for COVID-19, had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or do you have COVID-19 symptoms? The County has a new calculator to help you determine how long you need to isolate or quarantine and any additional precautions based on your specific situation. View tool at kingcounty.gov/covid/calculator.

    King County first large county to reach 70 percent with one vaccine dose across all age and racial groups; more than 3 million doses countywide. More than 70 percent of all age groups 12 and older and across all race and ethnic groups in King County have received at least one dose of COVID-19, the first large county in the nation to reach this milestone. More than 3 million doses have been administered countywide. Continue reading.

    Comirnaty Vaccine. On Monday, the FDA issued a Biologics License Application (BLA) to Pfizer-BioNTech for their COVID-19 vaccine for adults 16 and older. The vaccine, regularly referred to as the Pfizer Vaccine has been renamed Comirnaty (Koe-mir'-na-tee). Clinical trials will continue throughout the rest of 2021 and through 2025.

    Situation Reports. Click here to catch up on the latest information and reports.

    Vaccine News

    Local Vaccination Summary. As of August 26, the County reports that 93.3% of Mercer Island resident ages 12-and-up, have completed a vaccine series. Countywide, 83.4% of residents have had at least one dose and 77.2% of King County residents have completed their vaccine series.

    Need transportation to get your COVID-19 vaccine in King County? Call the Coordinated Vaccine Transportation Helpline at 425-943-6706 (press 5 for language access) or go to, http://findaride.org/covid to find the ride that best fits your needs!

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

    Need vaccine support? Call the DOH support line 1-833-VAX-HELP for assistance.

    School News

    In this stressful back to school season, use “layers” of precautions to keep everyone safe. Back to school often comes with feelings of nervousness and anticipation. However, families may feel even more nervous and concerned this year, because the COVID-19 Delta variant is circulating. From school requirements to precautions we all can take, click here for information on what we can do to help ensure the safety of schools.

  • News for the Week of August 16

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    News highlights for the week of August 16.

    Latest Numbers. In Mercer Island, there have been 730 positive cases reported as of August 19. DOH reported a total of 474,342 confirmed cases as of August 18. There have been 6,330 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. For the latest city and county data, click here.

    Advance appointments recommended at COVID-19 testing sites. Testing sites are experiencing longer than usual wait times and advance appointments are highly recommended or may be required at some sites. Even vaccinated people may need to get tested to help track the spread of variants in Washington state like the delta variant.

    DOH: Third dose of COVID-19 vaccine recommended for certain immunocompromised individuals. Health care providers can now offer third doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to certain immunocompromised individuals. Read more here.

    Joint Statement from HHS Public Health and Medical Experts on COVID-19 Booster Shots. On August 18, public health and medical experts from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the following statement on the Administration’s plan for COVID-19 booster shots for the American people. Follow this link to read the statement.

    DOH: COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations at a new all-time high. The latest COVID-19 modeling and surveillance situation report from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) shows current COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions at their highest levels to date. Highlights from the report include:

    • COVID-19 prevalence has nearly quadrupled between July 8 and August 6. DOH’s best current estimate of prevalence is 0.64% as of Aug. 6, which means about 1 in 156 Washingtonians has an active COVID-19 infection.
    • Death rates are fairly flat, with some variability. The seven-day rolling average has varied between 5 and 10 deaths per day since March 23 and is currently at 6 per day as of July 30.
    • Delta variant is now dominant. About 98% of cases are estimated to be caused by the Delta variant.
    • Case rates increased sharply in most Washington counties. Twelve counties had 14-day rates of new cases between 100 and 200 per 100,000 people.

    Situation Reports. Click here to catch up on the latest information and reports.

    Vaccine News

    Local Vaccination Summary. As of August 18, the County reports that 93% of Mercer Island resident ages 12-and-up, have completed a vaccine series. Countywide, 82% of residents have had at least one dose and 76.6% of King County residents have completed their vaccine series.

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

    Breakthrough Delta Infections Might Have Similar Viral Load. A recent report by the CDC points to potentially similar viral load from the Delta variant for both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons. Read the report here.

    School News

    Inslee announces educator vaccination requirement and statewide indoor mask mandate. Gov. Jay Inslee announced a vaccination requirement for employees working in K-12, most childcare and early learning, and higher education, as well as an expansion of the statewide mask mandate to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Read the full news release here, and watch the press conference here.

    Resources

    Pregnancy Guide. Pregnancy presents a possible increase in risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Visit the CDC’s guide for expectant families.

  • Statewide Mask Mandate Goes into Effect Monday

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    Department of Heath statement on face mask mandate:

    Washington State Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah, M.D., MPH, amended Order 20-03 requiring face masks for everyone over five years of age in most public indoor settings regardless of vaccination status. These include places like grocery stores, malls, gyms, and community centers. Masks are strongly recommended in crowded outdoor settings like sporting events, fairs, and concerts where physical distancing is not possible. The updated order goes into effect on Monday, Aug. 23.

    The order reflects the recommendations of all 35 local health officers in the state of Washington and recent changes to CDC guidance that all people, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in indoor public settings, in areas of substantial or high transmission. With the rise of the more infectious Delta variant, every county in Washington is currently categorized as having substantial or high transmission.

    Reinstating mask requirements is necessary in addition to increasing vaccinations, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Washington. The health care system is under immense strain, due in part to increased COVID-19 transmission, mostly among unvaccinated people. Between Feb. 1 and Aug. 3, 94.5% of COVID-19 cases who were hospitalized were not fully vaccinated.

    “While vaccines are the pathway out of this pandemic, wearing a mask is necessary to stem the current increase in COVID-19 cases, driven by the Delta variant,” said Shah. “I appreciate the efforts of those who are already regularly wearing face coverings in public and urge others to join us in taking this critical step to control the virus. Each of us has a part to play to stop the spread of this disease in our communities.”

    There are some exceptions to the indoor mask requirement, including:

    • Children under age five years of age. However, children age two to four years old can wear a mask under close adult supervision.
    • People with a medical or mental health condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a mask
    • Fully vaccinated workers who are working alone or in an area not accessible to the public
    • Athletes who play indoor sports and who are actively engaged in competition or practice (masks are still required on sidelines and in team meetings)
    • Small indoor private gatherings when everyone is vaccinated
    • Children under two years of age should not wear a face covering due to the risk of suffocation

    It is important to use and handle masks properly. A mask should fit snugly around both your mouth and nose, and it should not have holes or tears in the fabric. Cloth face coverings should be washed frequently, ideally after each use, and certainly daily. If you are not able to wash it after each use, wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching your face.

    You can find more information about mask requirements on our website.

  • DOH: Third dose of COVID-19 vaccine recommended for certain immunocompromised individuals

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    Statement from the Washington State Department of Health:

    Health care providers can now offer third doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to certain immunocompromised individuals following recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP), and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.

    While authorized vaccines have proven to be more than 90% effective in protecting against most variants, emerging data suggest people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems do not always build the same level of immunity compared to people who are not immunocompromised. The third dose is not considered a booster, rather an additional dose for individuals who did not adequately develop immunities with the initial two-dose series. A full list of conditions is available on the CDC’s website.

    “A third dose of Pfizer or Moderna will provide those who need it extra protection and help shield some of our most vulnerable from the highly contagious delta variant,” said Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH. “Science continues to show vaccines are the best tool we have to protect our communities and slow the spread of COVID-19.”

    A person receiving a third dose should get it at least 28 days after dose two. When possible, the individual should receive the same vaccine as the first two doses, but may receive the other mRNA vaccine brand if the other vaccine is not available. At this time, no additional dose is recommended for people who had the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine. People who received J&J should not get a second dose of either J&J or a dose of an mRNA vaccine. Additionally, people with competent immune systems should not receive a third dose.

    While vaccination is likely to increase protection, people who are immunocompromised should continue to wear a mask, maintain 6 feet of social distancing, avoid crowds, and avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces to protect themselves and those around them. Close contacts of immunocompromised people are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to help place a bubble of protection around them.

    Visit the DOH Newsroom for all news releases.

  • News for the Week of August 9

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    News highlights for the week of August 9.

    Latest Numbers. In Mercer Island, there have been 705 positive cases reported as of August 13. DOH reported a total of 457,647 confirmed cases as of August 11. There have been 6,215 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. For the latest city and county data, click here.

    Due to excessive heat waves, COVID-19 testing sites may close early. Click here for a link to specific locations and temporary early closure times for, Friday, Aug. 13th due to excessive heat.

    King County directive urges all residents ages 5+ to wear a mask in indoor public spaces. To protect the health of customers and employees, all King County employers should implement policies and practices that require workers and customers, 5 years of age and older, to wear a face mask in all indoor spaces open to the public. See full statement dated August 12, 2021.

    Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People. Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others. To reduce their risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and potentially spreading it to others, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people: wear masks in public indoor settings, get tested if experience COVID-19 symptoms, isolate if test positive. Click here for more information.

    Delta Explained: What You Should Know, and Do. The Delta variant is the latest example of how adaptable viruses can be. It’s a faster, more efficient version of the original virus that causes COVID-19. It’s the same virus, only better at infecting people. Click here to learn more.

    Situation Reports. Click here to catch up on the latest information and reports.

    Vaccine News

    Local Vaccination Summary. As of August 11, the County reports that 95% of Mercer Island resident ages 12-and-up, have received at least one dose of vaccine. Countywide, 82% of residents have had at least one dose and 76% of King County residents have completed their vaccine series.

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

    Need vaccine support? Call the DOH support line 1-833-VAX-HELP for assistance.

    Breakthrough Case Report. Between January 17, 2021 – July 31, 2021, Washington State identified 5,879 vaccine breakthrough cases. Read the full report here.

    Resources

    CDC Issues Eviction Moratorium Order. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky today signed an order determining the evictions of tenants for failure to make rent or housing payments could be detrimental to public health control measures to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This order will expire on October 3, 2021. Read more here.

    COVID-19 Reporting

    Selected Adverse Events Reported after COVID-19 Vaccination. The CDC tracks reported side effects that may have been caused by vaccines via the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). View the latest report here.

  • Delta Explained: What You Should Know, and Do

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    Shared courtesy of King County Public Health

    The Delta variant is the latest example of how adaptable viruses can be. It’s a faster, more efficient version of the original virus that causes COVID-19. It’s the same virus, only better at infecting people.

    Delta is far more contagious than its predecessors. It is spreading twice as quickly as the original strain, and people who are infected with it carry around much more virus in their nose and throat.

    Now it is the most common COVID-19 strain spreading in King County and most of the US. As it spreads, the numbers of new cases and hospitalizations have been rising in the county, the state, and the nation.

    Getting vaccinated is the best defense we have against COVID-19, including against the Delta variant strain. Vaccination makes it far less likely for someone to catch or spread the virus.

    No vaccine is 100 percent effective, however, so the Delta variant can infect vaccinated people. But they are far less likely to have severe symptoms. Many have no symptoms at all.

    These “breakthrough cases” are relatively rare. When vaccinated people do get infected with the Delta variant, they can be contagious and spread the virus to others, including to unvaccinated people who are at higher risk of getting seriously ill.

    Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 (even if they are mild) or has had close contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19, should get a COVID test and stay away from others while they wait for results.

    Getting vaccinated is the best protection

    The main purpose of the vaccines is to prevent serious illness, and the COVID-19 vaccines are highly protective against serious illness leading to hospitalization or death.

    Changing health guidance can be frustrating and confusing. It was only weeks ago, as summer began, that the state reopened and lifted most mask and social distancing requirements.

    But as the virus adapts, so too must the guidance public health officials offer to keep the entire community safe.

    That’s why the CDC, Washington state and King County health officials are again recommending that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, return to wearing masks in indoor public spaces, especially in areas where COVID-19 is spreading quickly.

    If you’re in a private or restricted setting where you know everyone is vaccinated, you don’t necessarily need to wear a mask indoors, but you may choose to do so to reduce your risk further, especially if the space is crowded or the ventilation is poor.

    For people who have not been vaccinated, masking up in public spaces remains mandatory.

    Remember, not everyone can get the vaccine, including children under age 12.

    Public Health is committed to achieving high vaccination rates across all neighborhoods and populations in King County, and we are targeting our resources accordingly.

    The most important tool for limiting the spread of COVID-19 and protecting everyone in our community is getting vaccinated. To reduce risk, it’s also important to:

    • Wear a high quality, well-fitting mask in indoor public settings
    • Improve indoor air quality and ventilation
    • Stay home when ill, isolate from others, and get tested right away if exposed
    • Maintain physical distancing in crowded settings, especially indoors


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Page last updated: 03 November 2021, 16:01