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.




  • Thursday Situation Briefings

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    5 months ago

    Update: 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 Report at the beginning of each regular Council Meeting. The City Manager Report video and PowerPoint Presentation are available here. Also, the Let's Talk coronavirus pages will continue to be updated regularly. Continue to look for the latest updates in the MI-Weekly E-Newsletter and on the City's social media pages.

    Links to all Thursday Situation Briefing videos and presentations are below.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    City Manager Jessi Bon hosted eleven live City situation briefings on Thursday afternoons from mid-March through May. City Manager Bon and leaders from the City as well as the City leadership team shared the latest information on the response to the coronavirus pandemic and City operations. Briefings were broadcast live on Thursdays via MITV-21 and the City's YouTube Channel.

    May 28 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    • This is the eleventh episode in the City's coronavirus video briefings.
    • Topics covered include: easing of restrictions on religious gatherings, update on fraudulent unemployment claims and steps to take to protect your identity, and other City updates.

    May 14 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    • This is the tenth episode in the City's ongoing series of live video conferences.
    • Topics covered include: an update on the state's Safe Start, contact tracing, testing, and other City updates.

    May 7 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    • This is the ninth episode in the City's ongoing series of live video conferences.
    • Topics covered include: an update on the state's Safe Start phased approach to opening and other City updates.

    April 30 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    • The eighth episode in the City's ongoing series of live video conferences will feature Police Chief Ed Holmes and Emergency Manager Jennifer Franklin.
    • Topics covered include: Chief Holmes and Officer Franklin will provide an update on the easing of portions of the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Order, information crime prevention, and other City updates.

    April 23 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    • We apologize for the technical difficulties with the live stream on the City's YouTube Channel. We will make sure that is corrected for next week's live briefing. You can watch the full, archived version here.
    • The seventh episode in the City's ongoing series of live video conferences featured Mercer Island Community Fund Board Member, Sharon Perez and Small Business Liaison, Sarah Bluvas.
    • Topics covered include: Sharon and Sarah shared the latest information on the WeLoveMI Campaign and resources for Mercer Island businesses, as well as other timely updates.

    April 16 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    • The sixth episode in the City's ongoing series of live video conferences featured Geriatric Specialist, Betsy Zuber and MI Emergency Management Volunteer Liaison, Dave Uhler.
    • Topics covered include: Betsy and Dave shared the latest resources for Mercer Island seniors and City volunteer efforts, and other timely updates.

    April 9 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    • For the fifth episode in the City's ongoing series of live video conferences, City Manager Jessi Bon had Small Business Liaison, Sarah Bluvas and Interim Parks & Recreation Director, Ryan Daly join her in providing updates and information on small business resources and parks updates.
    • Topics covered include: They shared the latest information and resources for local businesses, parks updates and etiquette review during the Governor’s Stay Home Order, as well as an update on City services.

    April 2 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    • The fourth episode in the City's ongoing series of live video conferences featured Officer Jennifer Franklin, the City's Emergency Manager.
    • Topics covered include: Officer Franklin explained how the City’s Emergency Operations structure works, how the City executes incident coordination and procurement region-wide, emphasized social distancing mandates, and covered other timely topics.

    March 26 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    • The third episode in the City's ongoing series of live video conferences featured Dr. Hal Quinn, a board-certified physician practicing at Mercer Island Pediatrics. Dr Quinn also serves as the Medical Director on the City’s emergency response team and works closely with MIPD Emergency Manager Franklin on medical oversight and protocols for major City incidents.
    • Topics covered included: Doctor Quinn shared his observations about the regional COVID-19 outbreak and suggest appropriate measures for parents and the community to consider during this unprecedented time; the City’s response to Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home” Order and impacts to City operations; updates from MIPD and MIFD; and a Community Call to Action (what you can do to help).

    March 19 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    • The second episode in our ongoing series of live video conferences to update the community on the City's coronavirus response and continued preparations for extended impacts featured Donna Colosky (MI School District Superintendent), Laurie Givan (Exec Director of the MI Chamber of Commerce), Cindy Goodwin (Director of the City’s Youth & Family Services Dept), Ed Holmes (Police Chief), and Steve Heitman (Fire Chief), will all join the briefing to provide updates and help answer questions from the community.
    • Topics covered included: Police and Fire situation briefings; City service changes; Support for local business; New Public Health orders, and more.


    • City Manager Jessi Bon hosted a live video conference to update the community on the City's coronavirus response and ongoing preparations. The Police Chief, the Fire Chief, and the Director of Youth & Family Services joined the briefing to help answer questions from the community.


  • Share Your Good News Stories or Simply Say Thank You!

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    3 months ago

    We could all use a little good news these days. Has a neighbor helped you during these past few months of social distancing? Have you seen someone go above-and-beyond for another member of the Mercer Island community? Do you want to recognize a group for something special they've done to make this time of isolation a little less isolating? We want to hear about it!

    Visit our Some Good News page to share your good news stories or say thanks today!

  • Support for Mercer Island BUSINESSES

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    5 months ago

    The City is working closely with the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce to provide information specific to businesses. As the virus spreads, some smaller establishments will be challenged by additional cleaning needs and/or reduced staffing due to quarantine concerns.
    For more information, documents, and links to useful websites visit our BUSINESS resources page.

    Wondering what RESTAURANTS are OPEN?
  • Special Shopping Hours

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    5 months ago

    To help Island seniors and other at-risk populations, local grocery stores and pharmacies have implemented a special shopping hour(s).

    New Seasons Market: 8:00-9:00 AM, All days

    QFC (both locations): 7:00-8:00 AM, Monday-Friday

    Walgreens: 8:00-9:00 AM, Tuesday (offering Senior Discount)

    Rite-Aid: 9:00-10:00 AM, Monday-Friday


    Questions? Contact individual stores.

    It takes all of us to stay healthy during this pandemic. Please follow these guidelines from Public Health when you go out:


  • CDC Face Covering Recommendations

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    4 months ago

    The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the CDC now recommend that we wear cloth face coverings in public places where we cannot reliably stay six feet away from other people.


    From the Washington State DOH:

    Washington State is currently experiencing significant community-based transmission of COVID19. Recent information suggests that a significant portion of persons with COVID-19 may not have any symptoms, and even those who do have symptoms can transmit the infection before showing signs of illness.

    The Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommend that people wear cloth face coverings when they are in public settings where they cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from others. This might include trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, hardware store, health clinic or similar places.

    This recommendation is not a substitute for existing guidance to maintain 6-feet of physical distance from non-household members and performing frequent hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Wearing cloth face coverings will not prevent spread of COVID-19 without these other protective measures.

    This is not a mandate that you must wear a face covering. It is considered an additional layer of protection.

    Guidance

    Our best community and individual defense against COVID-19 is: 

    • Performing frequent hand hygiene, 
    • Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, 
    • Avoiding being around sick people, and 
    • Practicing social distancing, especially by staying at home.

    If you wear a face covering, wash your hands before and after touching and adjusting the mask. It is critical that this guidance does not put increased demand on medical grade masks, such as N95 respirators and surgical masks. This guidance is for cloth face coverings only. A strong health care delivery system and emergency response system is also an essential core defense to save lives when people do get ill.

    For more information see the Washington State DOH's full recommendation: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/ClothFacemasks.pdf

  • Message from the City Council

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    4 months ago

    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

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

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    4 months ago


    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

  • A Message From City Manager Jessi Bon On Finances and Layoffs

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    3 months ago

    Apr 29, 2020 - A Message From City Manager Jessi Bon:

    Mercer Island Community,

    Today, I regrettably share with the Mercer Island community that I have implemented a number of workforce reductions in response to revenue shortfalls resulting from the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This unparalleled situation has led to very difficult and painful actions that deeply affect staff and residents alike. The decisions I’ve made over these past two months are choices no City Manager ever wants to face.

    Traditional sources of budgeted revenue such as rental fees, programming fees, sales tax, as well as Thrift Shop sales, have slowed or completely vanished. At this time, our best forecasting indicates that the City will end the year with a deficit of approximately $4.3 million in the General Fund and $1.3 million in the YFS Fund. The impacts of these losses are expected to extend into 2021. This situation, coupled with the unexpected expense of managing a lengthy emergency response and an already uncertain budget forecast, required immediate action.

    I recently provided a detailed memo to the City Council describing the current financial projections and workforce reductions (available here). To address the revenue shortfalls, I made the decision to lay off over 20 employees from the Youth and Family Services Department, the Parks and Recreation Department, and the Facilities Division, and furlough another 11. These decisions unfortunately come on the heels of a prior round of layoffs at the end of March, in which I made the decision to lay off almost 40 temporary and seasonal staff.

    All staff have been, and will continue, searching for any and all potential cost saving options. Just last month we reviewed all open contracts for cancellation options, suspended non-essential project work, ended 2020 travel and training, and turned off the heat and power in unoccupied buildings. All options are on the table. Just as we are looking at all possible cuts, I have also assigned a team to pursue all possible grant and other funding options.

    We are truly grateful for the ongoing and generous support of the Youth and Family Services Foundation, and contributions made by residents to the We Love MI campaign for parks and social services.

    The Road Ahead

    An updated financial forecast will be presented to the City Council at its May 5, 2020 meeting, kicking off a critical public discussion about the road to recovery. I encourage you to watch or listen to the meeting.

    In closing, I want to reassure residents that we will indeed get to the other side of this event – together. But as much as I, and I’m sure all of us, wish things would get back to normal, I believe that’s no longer realistic. Instead, we have the opportunity to build our new normal and I ask for your support in that endeavor.

    I continue to be incredibly proud of the staff’s professionalism, hard work, and dedication, especially over these past two months of unrelenting demands. And thank you to the community for staying home, looking out for each other, and supporting our local businesses and the City of Mercer Island. I am confident we will get through this together.

    Jessi Bon,

    Mercer Island City Manager

  • Metro Service Changes

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    4 months ago

    Metro has made significant service reductions throughout the region.

    Mercer Island’s Community Shuttle route #630, running between Mercer Island and Seattle’s First Hill medical community has been suspended.

    Route #204 remains in service, providing North-South service between the MI P&R and the south end QFC shopping area. It is the only intra Island public transportation at this time. Route #240 is operating under the Saturday schedule (10 round trip runs) Monday-Saturday.

    Metro has provided an interactive web tool that lists suspended and reduced routes as well as provides assistance finding alternate routes via public transportation. Click here for more information: kingcounty.gov/depts/transportation/metro

    Metro has temporarily discontinues fare payments and has moved to rear door bus boarding except for passengers with mobility challenges.

    Despite Metro’s service reductions, Access Paratransit is maintaining its traditional service area, hours, and days of service, and may be an option for riders with disabilities for whom fixed route is no longer available even though they are not currently certified for Access service.

    Customers with disabilities who are no longer able to reach their essential destinations using fixed-route service can contact the Access Transportation Call Center at 206-205-5000 for assistance with both emergent and ongoing essential transportation needs.

    • Customers with disabilities who have emergent transportation needs do not need to be currently certified for Access service.
    • Those with an ongoing need for transportation will need to apply for Access service through our temporarily streamlined eligibility process.

    For COVID-positive individuals who need to travel for medical care, Metro is currently working with Public Health to create a separate service using dedicated Access vehicles, bus bases, and drivers who have volunteered for the assignment. As we learn more, we will share that information with our customers and community partners.

    Trailhead Direct Service slated to begin April 18 has been suspended at this time. This service provides access to trail heads during the busy outdoor hiking season.

  • COMMUNITY Resources

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    5 months ago

    This community has a longstanding and extensive emergency preparedness network composed of many hundreds of trained volunteers with relationships across all neighborhoods.

    While the City does not have the capacity to check in on all vulnerable populations, we encourage "neighbor to neighbor" support during this time. For example, if you are aware of an elderly resident concerned about leaving their home, you may be able to help by delivering meals or groceries - remember to follow Public Health guidelines for social distancing to prevent an unintentional exposure.

    The City’s Youth and Family Services Department provides case management and mental health services to Island seniors and these will continue during the outbreak.


    For more information, documents, and helpful links visit our COMMUNITY resources page.