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.

  • Phased Reopening Requirements - Updated

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    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

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    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

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    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!

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    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

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    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

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    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.


    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

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
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    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

  • April 7 Special Video Council Meeting

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
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    On April 7, at 5:00pm the City Council will be experimenting with a whole new way of conducting its twice a month meeting using live videoconferencing. In order to hold the meeting while still following Governor Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order, staff have been testing various meeting platforms for feasibility.

    During the Council Meeting, secure video conferencing technology provided by Zoom will allow staff and Councilmembers to participate from a number of remote locations. Starting at 5:00pm, the live feed of the video conference will toggle between speakers and will be relayed on the City Council's YouTube Channel and on MITV Cable Channel 21.

    In addition to the livestream, there is also an option to simply listen to the meeting by phone by calling (253) 215-8782 and entering the Webinar ID: 509 061 969 when prompted. The Meeting Agenda is available on the City website.

    According to the Governor's Proclamation, topics on the agenda can cover areas that are necessary and routine. For this meeting, those items include accounts payable, payroll certification, minutes, and grant applications. Additional agenda items that are necessary in response to the COVID-19 outbreak include City Council Line of Succession, an ordinance providing for an extension on B&O tax payments, and a financial status report.

    Public comments will not be included in the agenda for this first meeting, but residents with feedback for Council on current issues or agenda items are invited to submit them in advance at the Let's Talk Council Connects page.

  • County, State, Federal Updates

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    March 18 - Governor announces relief for business, workers, tenants and more in response to COVID-19 outbreak

    March 16 - Governor issues statewide shutdown of restaurants, bars and limits on size of gatherings expanded

    March 13 - Governor expands school closure/gathering ban statewide

    March 13 - President declares national emergency

    March 12 - Governor orders K-12 school closure through April 24 in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties

    March 11 - Pandemic: Governor/King County issue health orders limiting events, mandating social distancing

Page last updated: 21 January 2022, 11:21