COVID-19 Information

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King County is currently in recovery Phase 2

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 ways residents can help. Given the amount of information available, and specific needs of the community, we have created separate pages for businesses, community resources and assistance, and construction. Make sure to check out these pages for information specific to those topics.

King County is currently in recovery Phase 2

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 ways residents can help. Given the amount of information available, and specific needs of the community, we have created separate pages for businesses, community resources and assistance, and construction. Make sure to check out these pages for information specific to those topics.

  • King County Approved for Phase 2

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    about 2 months ago

    On June 19, King County's Phase 2 plan was approved by the WA Department of Health, allowing an expansion of retail operations and dining opportunities, additional professional services, as well as other activities.

    The new phase (click for details) now allows up to 50% usage of indoor seating capacity at restaurants, and 50% of outdoor dining (both with tables at 6-foot spacing). It also allows social and recreational gatherings with up to 5 people outside your household per week.

    Public Health - Seattle & King County emphasizes that it will still be important to maintain the safety principles that led to the success against the outbreak, such as: continuing physical distancing, minimizing contact with others outside the home, frequent hand washing or sanitizer, and use of cloth face coverings in public.

    Each Washington County is moving through the four-phased “Safe Start” process at its own pace, depending on how much success it has had in slowing the virus. Counties must remain in each stage of Safe Start for at least three weeks, until health authorities can measure their progress towards eliminating the virus.

    Get more details from King County here.

  • UPDATED COVID-19 Symptoms

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    3 months ago

    The CDC just added new symptoms to its list of known symptoms.

    Researchers are continuing to learn more about COVID-19. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with the following symptoms may have COVID-19:

    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    Contact your healthcare provider if you experience these symptoms.

  • Directive from King County Health: Wear Face Coverings in Public

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    3 months ago

    Beginning May 18, King County residents were directed to wear face coverings in most public settings.

    The King County Health Officer issued a directive to wear face coverings in public places, both indoors in places such as grocery stores and businesses, and also outdoors when it’s difficult to maintain six feet apart from others. While face coverings do not replace proper hygiene or social distancing as protection measures, they can help to protect others and slow spread of COVID-19 by blocking infectious droplets from spreading when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes or speaks.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define cloth face coverings as fabric coverings including cloth face masks, scarves and bandana coverings, or any homemade face covering made of cotton fabric. The CDC also makes clear that cloth face coverings should:

    • Include multiple layers of fabric
    • Allow for breathing without restriction
    • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

    Make sure you are wearing your face covering properly!

    Everyone is strongly urged to wear face coverings in places such as:

    • Stores that sell food and beverages (including: grocery stores, pharmacies, corner stores, convenience stores, liquor stores, farmers' markets, food banks, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, big box stores that sell groceries, and similar places that sell food).

    • Retail stores (including: convenience stores, pet supply stores, auto supplies and repair shops, hardware and home improvement stores, garden stores that sell supplies for growing food, office supply stores, and home appliance stores).

    • Restaurant take-out and food businesses. Employees who prepare, carry out, and deliver food must wear masks.

    • Cannabis shops and stores that sell dietary supplements.

    • Tobacco and vapor shops.

    • Buses, light rail, and other forms of public transportation.

    The Health Officer’s Directive relies on individual compliance; there is no penalty for not wearing a mask.

    Other details regarding the directive:

    Operators and riders on King County Metro will be required to wear face coverings.

    • Metro operators will not prevent passengers without face coverings from boarding, but recorded reminders will play on the vehicle’s public address system informing riders of the face covering policy.
      • Security officers will communicate public health guidance to riders who are not wearing a face covering or staying apart from other passengers.

    Face coverings are not directed to be worn when:

    • At home
      • In your car alone or if you’re only with members of your household
      • Exercising outdoors, like walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when appropriate social distancing is possible

    Is anyone exempt from wearing a face covering?

    • Face coverings should not be worn by children who are two years of age or younger, or children under the age of twelve unless supervised by an adult.
      • Additionally, if wearing a face covering would be difficult or harmful, an individual should not do so. Examples would be someone who has a physical disability that makes it difficult to easily wear or remove a face covering; someone who is deaf and uses facial and mouth movements as part of communications; someone who has been advised by a medical professional to not wear one; or someone who has trouble breathing or cannot remove a face covering without assistance.

    For more information visit

    Still need a mask? Check out these DIY Face Mask options from King County or these options from the CDC.! Have you seen the 45 second video from the Surgeon General? If not, he shares the easiest face covering option.

  • Statewide Contact Tracing Initiative

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    3 months ago

    Updated July 31, 2020:

    Inslee signs proclamation ensuring protection of personal information during contact tracing. Gov. Jay Inslee issued a proclamation July 30, related to the state's contact tracing efforts and personal information protection. Proclamation 20-64 exempts personally identifiable information collected by COVID-19 case investigators from public disclosure. The proclamation does not provide additional exemptions for employees or volunteers who are conducting the contact tracing work, as the Public Records Act already exempts many types of personal information relating to public employees and volunteers.

    DOH believes the information was already exempt from disclosure but hopes the certainty provides people more confidence when communicating with contact tracers. The proclamation is in effect until August 29.

    Inslee announced the proclamation during his media avail this afternoon. You can watch the avail on TVW.

    On May 12, Governor Jay Inslee announced that the state is launching a voluntary contact tracing program. When someone tests positive, an interviewer will reach out by phone. They will ask who that person has been in close contact with, then reach out to those other people to let them know they have been exposed. Contact tracers will include members of the Washington State National Guard, Department of Licensing, and state/local health professionals.

    Follow this link for more information about case investigations and contact tracing.

    The information collected is only used by public health professionals and is confidential. It will not be shared. Contacts will not be told the name of the person who may have exposed them to COVID-19. These professional interviewers will ask about symptoms, recent exposure and demographic questions such as age, address, gender and ethnicity. The statewide contact tracing team will be trained and available by May 15.

    Public facing businesses will collect customer information via a daily log. Information and protocols for reopening are being updated and released regularly. Click here to watch the Governor's press conference for more information.

    “Privacy is the utmost importance. All data received and inputted is from the DOH’s secure database. All of this is voluntary. We’re only contacting people that have already agreed to be contacted and an individual can end the call at any time.” ~ Lt. Col. Steve Hobbs, WA State National Guard

    Getting Tested

    A key part of the program is testing. King County Public Health now recommends that anyone with symptoms or who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 be tested right away.

    Most testing is conducted through primary care providers, however, if you need to be tested and don’t have a provider who can do the test, call the King County COVID-19 call center at 206-477-3977. Open 7 days a week 8 AM – 7 PM.

  • Updates from the City Manager

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    2 months ago

    City Manager Jessi Bon hosted eleven live City situation briefings on Thursdays from March through May. In June, she transitioned to updates via her City Manager's Report.

    The May 28 Situation Briefing was the eleventh and final live briefing. City Manager Jessi Bon will continue to update the community on City operations and coronavirus-related information via her City Manager's Report at the beginning of each regular Council Meeting.

    Council Meetings are scheduled the first and third Tuesday of each month and are broadcast live on MITV-21 and the Council's YouTube Channel. Meetings begin at 5:00pm.

    Links to recent City Manager's Report videos and PowerPoint Presentations are available below.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Next meeting: September 1

    August 4 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    July 21 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    July 7 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    June 16 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    June 9 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    June 2 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    June 1 - Special Live Video Briefing

    May 19 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    May 5 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    April 21- Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    April 7 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Follow this link to access all eleven Thursday Situation Briefing videos and PowerPoint Presentations.

    Have questions? Please email them to: we will try to address them during the presentation.

  • King County Data Dashboard

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    4 months ago

    Updated July 1 - King County Public Health maintains several data dashboards that provide regular updates about COVID-19 cases and deaths, key trends and indicators of COVID-19 activity, long-term care information, and more.

    Daily Summary Dashboard

    Total cases, deaths, and demographics for the County. Zoom in on each city to get the latest local data. Updated daily between 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

    Key Indicators of COVID-19 Activity Dashboard

    Key indicators and trends that track COVID-19 activity like outbreak growth, rate of hospitalization, and testing capacity. These indicators, along with other data, are key considerations for reviewing current restrictions on activity, recommendations, and precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Updated weekly on Tuesdays.

    Long-Term Care Facility Dashboard

    The data provided in the dashboard describes the impacts of COVID-19 on the residents and staff of long-term care facilities licensed by the State, including nursing homes, adult family homes, and assisted living facilities. Updated weekly on Thursdays.

    Economic, Social, and Overall Health Impacts Dashboard

    Shows changes in key economic, social, and other health indicators resulting from strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19. Updated weekly.

    Syndromic Surveillance Dashboard

    Emergency department visits and hospitalizations for COVID-like illness and pneumonia at King County healthcare facilities. Updated weekly on Wednesdays.

    Race/Ethnicity Dashboard

    Shows the impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color compared to whites in King County, WA. Updated weekly on Mondays.

    Have you ever wondered why the data changes? You've noticed the numbers are lower than the previous day? King County Public Health has answered seven of the most asked questions about their data dashboards. Check it out and see if they've answered your questions!

    Washington State COVID-19 Data Dashboard

    Looking for the latest information on state-wide case counts, epidemiologic curves, testing, hospitalizations or other information? The state has created a data dashboard complete with this information and more. Data is updated daily. Click here to visit the data dashboard.

    On March 25, Public Health—Seattle & King County launched a data dashboard that provides daily updates to COVID-19 cases and deaths. Visit to see the dashboard.

    The dashboard provides data on how many people have tested positive in each city, age ranges of those who test positive or who have died, and more.

    King County will update the dashboard daily (between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m.), pending the receipt of data from key sources, including the Washington State Department of Health. The dashboard includes a timestamp of the most recent updates.

    Due to delays in reporting data from various laboratories, case totals are commonly reported two or three days later. While a graph showing the trend of COVID-19 cases may appear to be flat or declining, King County notes that we must assume that this does not actually represent a decline.

    Hover over key data points to reveal important information. A mobile version is also available.

  • State Data Dashboard

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    3 months ago

    The State has created a COVID-19 data dashboard, updated daily with the latest confirmed cases and other information.

    Have you been looking for the latest information on state-wide case counts, epidemiologic curves, testing, hospitalizations or other information? The state has created a data dashboard complete with this information and more. Data is updated daily. Click here to visit the data dashboard.

  • Reopening Washington - A Phased Approach

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    3 months ago

    Wondering when your hair stylist can open or when you can eat out at your favorite restaurant? The state's four phased approach to reopening details when various industries can open and how they will do so.

    Updated May 20: Gov. Jay Inslee's phased approach to how Washington state will reopen businesses and modifying physical distancing measures.

    Businesses are expected to implement any additional requirements developed specifically for their industry. Moving forward, there will be four phases allowing more areas of the state to re-open after each phase. A minimum of three weeks is required between each phase.

    Phase 1: The state entered Phase 1 on May 5.

    Phase 2: King County entered Phase 2 on June 19.

    Additional expansions of outdoor recreation activities would be allowed, as well as small gatherings of 5 or fewer people, new construction and in-store retail purchases with health restrictions. Barber shops and salons could reopen and house cleaning services. Restaurants could reopen with 50% capacity and table size no larger than 5. Some professional services and offices could open as well, even though teleworking would remain strongly encouraged. Pet care services including grooming could resume.

    Phase 3: Gatherings of 50 people or less, including sports activities, would be allowed, and non-essential travel could resume. Restaurants could move up to 75% capacity and tables up to 10 people, and bars at 25% capacity; gyms and movie theaters could reopen at 50% capacity; retail, libraries, museums and government buildings could reopen. Recreational facilities like pools could open at 50% capacity. Nightclubs and entertainment venues would still not be able to reopen.

    Phase 4: Would involve resuming the majority of public interactions. Gatherings of more than 50 people would be allowed, but still while practicing social distancing. On June 27, Gov. Inslee and Sec. John Wiesman put a pause on county progressions to Phase 4.

    Every phase will still require social distancing and appropriate health precautions including the use of personal protective equipment in a number of workplaces. Watch Gov. Inslee’s press conference.

    Essential Business Guidance

    Many parts of the economy are already allowed to operate safely as essential businesses. For a list of essential businesses click here.

    Challenge Seattle and the Washington Roundtable have developed a business checklist which is a great starting point for businesses as they prepare for a Safe Start. Our shared goal is to establish clear requirements that everyone can understand and apply — employers, workers and customers.

    These phases depend on continued success in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and meeting four capabilities including:

    • health care system readiness
    • testing capacity
    • ability to do contact investigations
    • ability to protect high-risk populations.

    Find more information on that here:

    Not every part of the state is experiencing #COVID19 the same way. County variances are allowed. Smaller counties could reopen. Counties with fewer than 50,000 residents not hit hard by #COVID19 will be able to apply to the Department of Health for a variance that will allow the county to open to the second phase. Cities and counties can also take more strict actions than what the state is mandating. That is up to them based on their public health needs and local decision making.

  • Emergency Response by the Numbers

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    3 months ago

    Have you been wondering what City staff are doing during the emergency? Much of the response is done by staff busily working behind the scenes, so we’ve pulled together information to help tell their story.

    The week of April 20 marks the 8th week of the City’s response to the pandemic. The City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was opened on March 5 and has been activated at Level 1 (full activation) since March 25.

    Staff, 37 to be exact, are filling numerous unique and specific roles within the EOC organizational structure. As of April 21, those staff have worked approximately 3,798 hours since full activation. Staff from every department have been incorporated into the EOC structure and are working remotely to assist with the response, including:

    Parks & Recreation 12 staff
    City Manager, City Attorney, HR, IGS 10 staff
    CPD 6 staff
    Public Works 3 staff
    Police Department 2 staff
    Fire Department 2 staff
    YFS 2 staff

    So, what are staff doing? During an emergency, staff are typically deployed in one of three sections – operations, planning, and logistics.

    Operations section staff are the “boots on the ground" and include first responders. Planning section staff are responsible for developing short- and long-term plans for all aspects of the response while the logistics team provides all necessary support not only to our boots on the ground but to the entire response.

    Here’s a peek into what some of the EOC team have been doing:

    • Policy team reviews City policies related to emergency response (ex. B&O tax relief).
    • Planning staff develop short- and long-term plans for emergency response. They are also responsible for producing Situation Reports.
    • The timekeeper reviews and reconciles response-related forms and timecards.
    • Supply Unit staff procures and tracks supplies (PPE, hand sanitizer, disinfectant and cleaners, contracts with cleaning companies, etc.).
    • Facilities Unit staff manages facilities, ensuring a safe and disinfected work environment for police and other staff.
    • Finance Unit staff track expenses and overall finances for the emergency.
    • Service Branch staff provide personnel, IT, and HR support. An important part of the response has been ensuring staff have the ability to work remotely so emergency response, and other essential City functions, could be managed from home. This has required a tremendous amount of time from the City's IT department. Other teams have also been involved in this process, ensuring invoices, payments, contracts, timecards, etc. can be processed electronically. Staff have also worked to ensure continuity of Council meetings through new videoconferencing technology - this has also required hours of testing and training.
    • Call center staff respond to calls from the community, seven days a week. The call center is managed by 6 staff who answer phone calls and 1 staff member who responds to emails. Staff have answered over 622 calls and responded to over 85 emails. Almost all inquiries receive same-day responses. Most phone inquiries are answered immediately, emails tend to be more complex and may take several hours. At its highest point, the Call Center had 9 staff members responding to calls and emails.

    This certainly isn't representative of all of the staff and work involved in the response, but hopefully it helps provide a better picture.

    During this emergency, information has proven to be a commodity as important as toilet paper. A communications team has been working around-the-clock since the first cases were announced in late February. As of April 21, they have:

    • Issued 31 press releases.
    • Published 24 MI-Weekly E-Newsletter articles.
    • Shared over 268 social media posts across Facebook, Twitter, and NextDoor.
    • Produced six live video briefings that have been viewed over 2,703 times on the City’s YouTube Channel alone. (Data not available from Comcast.) Approximately 40-150 live event viewers are tuning in on YouTube to each briefing.
    • Developed 3, interconnected Let’s Talk pages to share the latest information, resources, and ways residents can help. These pages have been visited 6,500 times.
    • Uploaded 107 documents, prompting over 1,000 downloads.
    • Published 61 articles (and counting) featuring information ranging from:

    The City team has tirelessly responded to this unprecedented event and will continue to do everything it can to ensure the health and safety of the Mercer Island community. Click here for more information about the City's Pandemic Plan and here for information about the Mercer Island Emergency Management Department. Click here to view the City’s COVID-19 Response EOC organizational structure.

    *These are initial, approximate numbers. The City continues to track the entire emergency response.

  • Resources for Mercer Island Seniors

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    4 months ago

    The City has organized a number of resources and services for homebound seniors.

    Tech 101 Tutorial

    Check out this video with tips and information on how to use technology to stay connected with family and friends while staying safe at home.

    At-Home Workout Videos

    Stay Home but Stay Active with free workouts from MI Athletic Club! Five 15-minute, equipment-free workouts. Stream any time here on Let’s Talk. Coming to Channel 21, Monday – Friday in the mornings and afternoons. Thank you to Ginny Pietila and MI Athletic Club for this resource! More online workouts for all levels available at

    Live Video Briefing Featuring YFS Geriatric Specialist, Betsy Zuber

    Geriatric Specialist for Mercer Island Youth & Family Services, Betsy Zuber, joined City Manager Jessi Bon for the April 16 Live COVID-19 Situation Briefing. Betsy provided counseling and consultation to Mercer Island adults, older adults and their families for 20 years. During the Thursday briefing, she shared the latest resources for Mercer Island seniors.

    Request Assistance from Emergency Volunteers

    The City has mobilized Emergency Response volunteers to help provide assistance to vulnerable populations or others in need. City volunteers can provide assistance with a wide range of non-professional services such as maintaining safe access to your entryways (removing plant growth or debris) or running local on-Island errands when delivery services are not available from retailers. To request assistance, please call the Coronavirus Hotline at (206) 275-7626 or email

    Senior Hours at Mercerdale Park

    To help provide access for seniors, starting tomorrow, the City will implement Senior Hours at Mercerdale Park. Monday-Friday between 7:00am-10:00am. CDC advises that older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. We’re asking the community to respect these hours to better serve our senior population.

    Disabled Parking at Mercerdale and Luther Burbank Parks

    To help provide access for members of our community with accessibility challenges, starting tomorrow, the City will open disabled parking spaces at Mercerdale and Luther Burbank Parks. These spaces will be available during park open hours for patrons with government-issued handicap placards or license plates. Staff are reevaluating parks restrictions daily and working to find solutions that suit our senior and disabled neighbors.

    Senior Services through YFS

    YFS Specialists are still available for phone and email consultations Monday – Wednesday for senior residents and their families. Click here for more information.

    Senior Shopping Hours

    Click here for details about special shopping hours.

    Connecting to Culture from the Comfort of Your Home

    Bored? Missing the arts? Erin Vivion, Mercer Island resident and Chair of the Mercer Island Arts Council, compiled a list of suggestions to stay connected to the arts. Follow this link to connect to culture from your couch.

    Forever Young, and Also Over 60

    Washington State Department of Health published an article on information and tips for residents who are 60 or older to stay as healthy as possible. Click here for the article.