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.


  • City Adjusts COVID-19 Emergency Operations, Updates Reopening Plans

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    September 22, 2021 – In response to changing COVID-19 conditions, the City of Mercer Island has adjusted operations and reallocated resources to best support City services and protect the community’s health. Here’s what’s changed:

    • The City’s Emergency Operations Center, which is responsible for the citywide response to COVID-19, has been re-elevated to Level 2 status. A Level 2 activation is a moderate response, which organizes staffing and resources during a community emergency. In this case, the City’s response team is closely monitoring changing pandemic conditions, staying in direct contact with King County Public Health officials, and working closely with personnel from partner cities, agencies, and organizations. Weekly reports and meetings are held to ensure the City can respond quickly to community needs and changing health and safety guidance, and citywide operations are adjusted to ensure essential services can be maintained. The City was previously operating at a Level 3 response, which is the lowest-level of emergency operations.
    • Reopening plans for City facilities have been adjusted to protect staff and community members. City Hall will remain closed to the public and Council, board, and commission meetings will remain virtual. City leadership will evaluate new target dates and conditions for reopening over the coming months.
    • Expanded COVID-19 protocols have been implemented at all City facilities. Essential personnel who must work in City Hall or other City locations are required to wear a mask covering their face and nose at all times, whenever indoors or where a distance of six feet or more cannot be maintained. The Mercer Island Community and Event Center is also adjusting operations to protect staff and patrons – updated operation and safety protocols will be posted on the MICEC's webpage once available.
    • The City has extended payment flexibility options for utility customers financially impacted by the pandemic through a new COVID-19 Flexible Payment Program. The City will also continue to waive late fees and service disconnects due to non-payment for an additional 120 days after the end of the Statewide utility moratorium, set to expire on September 30, 2021.

    These changes have been implemented after careful evaluation of public health data, risk metrics and the specific needs of the City and community.

    Increased COVID-19 transmission and breakthrough cases pose specific challenges to essential City operations, including personnel shortages due to exposure or infection. The Level 2 activation of the Emergency Operations Center allows City leadership to efficiently adjust staff priorities and shift resources to ensure critical services, including police, fire, water and sewer, are maintained. Because of this, some non-essential services, such as park lawn mowing, are placed on hold when staff shortages or safety risks occur.

    “We are doing everything we can to proactively respond to the latest impacts of the pandemic,” Mercer Island City Manager, Jessi Bon, said. “We are prioritizing the most important services for our community and making these changes to keep our teams distanced, safe and operating.”

    The City thanks the community for their continued understanding as operations change. All community members are encouraged to stay up to date with the City on social media and follow the latest guidance from King County Public Health. For more information on the City’s Emergency Management operations, visit the division's webpage.

  • News for the Week of September 13

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    News highlights for the week of September 13.

    Latest Numbers. In Mercer Island, there have been 837 positive cases reported as of September 17. DOH reported a total of 550,093 confirmed cases as of Sept. 15. There have been 7,145 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. For the latest city and county data, click here.

    Starting in October, proof of vaccination or negative test will be required in King County to participate in most indoor and outdoor activities and establishments. King County’s Public Health Officer issued a Health Order requiring verification of full vaccination or a negative test to enter certain indoor and outdoor activities and establishments. The Health Order will go into effect October 25. Click here to learn more.

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

    Information for Businesses

    New COVID-19 Vaccine Verification Requirement. Beginning October 25, King County will require customers and attendees to show proof that they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Help is available for businesses as they navigate how to implement this new requirement including Frequently Asked Questions and more details on the new policy, such as which businesses are impacted, what qualifies as proof of vaccination, and plans for enforcement. Click here for more information.

    Vaccine News

    King County vaccination pop-ups schedule. No appointment necessary. Vaccines are free to everyone ages 12 and up, regardless of your income, insurance, citizenship, or immigration status. Visit the link above for event times and other details.

    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. between January 17, 2021 – September 4, 2021, DOH officials have identified 31,708 vaccine breakthrough cases in Washington State. Read the full September 15 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.

  • Starting in October, proof of vaccination or negative test will be required in King County to participate in most indoor and outdoor activities and establishments

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    After conducting a week’s worth of outreach with business and community organizations, King County’s Public Health Officer issued a Health Order requiring verification of full vaccination or a negative test to enter certain indoor and outdoor activities and establishments.

    The Health Order will be effective October 25 and will apply to:

    • Indoor entertainment and recreational events or establishments
      • professional and collegiate sports
      • entertainment
      • performing arts
      • museums
      • theatre
      • live music
      • gyms
      • conferences/conventions
    • Restaurants and bars (including indoor dining)
      • does not apply to outdoor dining, take-out customers, and places that aren't primarily used as a restaurant, such as grocery stores
    • Outdoor events with 500 people or more – such as professional and collegiate sports and entertainment events

    The order gives the option for a longer preparation period for smaller restaurants and bars with a seating capacity of 12 or less, with an implementation date of December 6. The entire order is not expected to be permanent. It will be reviewed no later than six months after the October 25th implementation date to assess its continued need based on future outbreak conditions.

    For people who are unvaccinated or cannot prove vaccine status, they will be required to show proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test in the last 72 hours, or a negative rapid test result from a testing provider conducted on site at an event or establishment just prior to entry. Individuals under 12 years of age, who are not eligible to be vaccinated, are not required to be tested for entry.

    Establishments will be responsible for checking vaccination proof or negative test status.

    Public Health, King County, and City of Seattle will be working with partners to provide technical support and educational materials to businesses and organizations implementing the order.

    Several forms of vaccination proof will be permitted under the order. Click here for more from King County. No personal identification with proof of vaccination will be required.

  • Update on City Facilities and Programs

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    Updated COVID-19 protective measures at City facilities.

    Earlier this fall, 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

    Last updated: December 9, 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.

Page last updated: 14 Apr 2022, 01:11 PM