COVID-19 Information

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King County is in Healthy Washington Recovery Phase 3

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.


Still not finding what you're looking for? Use the search bar! There is A LOT of information on our coronavirus information and resource pages. If you can't find something, just type the topic in the search bar at the top of the page and you should be able to find it!


King County is in Healthy Washington Recovery Phase 3

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.


Still not finding what you're looking for? Use the search bar! There is A LOT of information on our coronavirus information and resource pages. If you can't find something, just type the topic in the search bar at the top of the page and you should be able to find it!

  • News for the Week of January 25

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    22 Mar 2021
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    News highlights for the week of January 25.

    Latest Numbers. DOH reported a total of 293,978 confirmed cases as of January 27. There have been 4,243 COVID-19 deaths in WA. In Mercer Island, there have been 435 positive cases reported as of January 28. For that latest city and county data, click here.

    Headlines

    King County Moves to Phase 2 Beginning Feb. 1. On Thursday, January 28, the DOH announced that based on Governor Jay Inslee’s updated phased reopening plan, the Puget Sound region will move into Phase 2 beginning Monday, February 1. In Phase 2, restrictions on most activities are relaxed, slightly. Restaurants (and bars with food) can have indoor dining at 25% capacity, and gyms/fitness also can operate at 25% capacity (appointments not necessarily required). Click here for more Phase 2 details.

    New "Roadmap to Recovery" dashboard. The State DOH, in partnership with Microsoft AI for Health, has launched the new Roadmap to Recovery dashboard that provides a detailed overview of the metrics used for measuring regional progress in the Governor’s “Roadmap to Recovery” phased reopening plan. The dashboard provides a state-wide view as well as regional data. Click this link to view the dashboard.

    New COVID-19 Testing Requirements for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States. If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get tested no more than 3 days before you travel by air into the United States. You will need to show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery. This can be proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel. Click here for more.

    Public-private vaccination effort. On Tuesday, the DOH announced the appointment of Mr. Dan Laster as Director of the COVID-19 Vaccine Action Command and Coordination System (VACCS) Center to create public-private partnerships. Microsoft, Starbucks, Kaiser Permanente, SeaMar, and SEIU 1199 agreed to partner with the state to support the vaccine distribution efforts. Full press release here.

    FDA: “Beware of alcohol-based sanitizers from Mexico.” The U.S. FDA has issued an alert on alcohol-based sanitizers from Mexico: many have been found to contain a toxic substance known as methanol (wood alcohol). Check your hand sanitizer. Stop using it immediately if it's on this list: http://bit.ly/sanitizeralert

    Video Update from the City Manager. At the February 2 City Council meeting, City Manager Jessi Bon will provide an update to the Council and community. Tune in at 5:00pm on the Council’s YouTube Channel to watch the update or view it on MI-TV Channel 21.

    Situation Reports. The City has moved to monthly Situation Reports (SitReps), available the first Friday of the month. The next SitRep will be available the afternoon of February 5. Click here to catch up on the latest information and reports.

    Information for Businesses

    Free safety supplies for restaurants and bars in King County. The Safe Start for Taverns and Restaurants (SSTAR) program continues its mobile outreach to provide free supplies for food establishments including facemasks, gloves, thermometer, hand sanitizer, disinfecting solutions, posters and educational materials. Upcoming giveaway events include:

    Farmers Market COVID-19 Plan Requirements updated. The plan for Farmers Market Coordinators, includes information on on how the market will control for health screening, social distancing and sanitation. Click here for more info.

    Paycheck Protection Program resumed. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SB), in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for First Draw PPP Loans the week of Jan. 11. SBA began accepting applications for Second Draw PPP Loans on Jan. 13. You can find more information regarding application requirements and technical guidance on the Washington State Department of Commerce’s website and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s COVID-19 business relief page.

    Vaccine News

    Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines. Messenger RNA vaccines—also called mRNA vaccines—are some of the first COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for cells to make a harmless piece of the so-called "spike protein”, which the virus uses to enter cells in the body. After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them. The immune system recognizes that the protein doesn’t belong there and begins making antibodies to protect against future infection. People who get vaccinated gain this protection without having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19. Click here for more.

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

    Washington COVID-19 vaccine distribution hits 500,000 total doses administered. Gov. Jay Inslee today announced progress toward the state’s goal of administering 45,000 vaccine doses a day. As of Monday, the state’s current seven-day rolling average was 23,960 doses administered. The governor also announced a record number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in a 24-hour period, with around 40,000 doses reported as of Monday. Washington also officially passed 500,000 vaccine doses administered and reported. Click here to continue reading.

    Four mass vaccination sites open statewide this week. The DOH, with assistance from the Washington National Guard and local and private sector partners, is launching four mass vaccination sites throughout the state this week in Kennewick, Ridgefield, Spokane and Wenatchee. Click here for information on mass vaccination sites.

    Statement on crossing state lines for vaccine. Given the limited supply of vaccine that is available at this time and our state’s commitment to equitable and fair access to vaccine, the state is requiring that those seeking COVID-19 vaccines in its four mass vaccination sites must either live or work in Washington state. People who register for vaccines at these four sites may be asked to provide one of the following: driver's license or work/school ID; letter with your address, utility bill; statement/letter with a Washington state address; or voucher from an employer, faith-based institution, health care provider, school, or other registered organization or agency, etc. that the person lives or works in Washington state. The vaccine site will not make a copy or record this information in any way. This is only to show that the person currently resides or works in Washington state. Click here for more.

  • News for the Week of January 18

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    11 Mar 2021
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    News highlights for the week of January 18.

    State Opens COVID Vaccinations To Phase 1b. On Monday, January 18, Gov. Inslee announced that all older adults in Washington state over the age of 65 are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. People 50 and older who live in multigenerational households are also eligible if they meet certain conditions. Learn more about the expanded vaccine eligibility guidance. Collectively, these groups are known as Phase 1b - Tier 1. Due to limited supply of vaccine, not everyone will be able to access a vaccine right away, and you may experience delays due to the very high volume of inquiries. Access will improve as the supply chain widens and providers across King County receive more doses. Mobile vaccination teams are also reaching out to highest risk older adults, including those residing in adult family homes. Larger retirement homes and assisted living facilities already have vaccination programs underway.

    How to Get Vaccinated

    At this time, Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) recommends the following options if you believe you are currently eligible.

    • Call your doctor’s office or health care provider
    • Or use Washington State’s new online Phase Finder tool
    • Or call the State COVID Hotline at 1-800-525-0127

    COVID-19 in Washington State: One Year Later. The first case of COVID-19 was announced in Washington state on January 21, 2020. This was the first time anyone had detected novel coronavirus in the United States. This day marked the beginning of our state’s response. Click here for the full article.

    Inslee extends 26 proclamations relating to COVID-19. Gov. Jay Inslee issued extensions of 26 emergency proclamations, which were extended by the Legislature on January 15 with the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 8402. Read more here.

    Job search requirements continue to be suspended during pandemic. The State Legislature voted to continue the suspension of job search requirements until the State of Emergency is withdrawn. This means you can continue to answer “no” to the job search question on your weekly claim until the suspension is lifted. Read more here.

    Video Update from the City Manager. On January 19, the City Council meeting, City Manager Jessi Bon provided an update to the Council and community. Watch the update here.

    January 22 Situation Report. For highlights and information from the 46th week of the City’s response to the pandemic click here. Note: The City is moving to one SitRep a month beginning in February. The January 22 report will be the final SitRep for January. Next report will be published on February 5.

    Vaccine News

    When is it your turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine? The COVID-19 vaccine is here. The vaccine is one of the best strategies we have now to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the virus that defined 2020. Eventually every adult and teen in Washington who wants the vaccine will be able to get one this year, but, for now, there is a limited supply. Read more about the vaccine roll out here.

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

    Vaccine distribution update from the DOH. On January 13, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) shared key updates on our COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts. Click here for the release.

    Washington's new vaccine dashboard will offer new window into progress. The state, in partnership with Microsoft AI for Health, announced a new vaccine data tab now available on the DOH dada dashboard. Check out the latest state-wide data here.

    What to Expect After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. Click here for common side effects and more.

    School News

    MISD Hybrid In-Person Learning Timeline. MISD welcomed back first graders to in-person learning on Tuesday and kindergarteners began hybrid learning the week of January 4. The MISD hybrid learning schedule has grades 2-3 returning to in-person learning the week of February 8. For more on the schedule visit the Learning Forward page at www.mercerislandschools.org/learningforward.

    Updated message from Public Health regarding return to in-person learning. Feelings of fear and uncertainty in response to planning for expanded in-person instruction during the pandemic are very real for many people, and understandable given the unfamiliar and evolving nature of the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here for the full message from Dr. Jeff Duchin.

    Updated guidance documents for King County Schools COVID-19 Response Toolkit. Public Health has developed the King County Schools COVID-19 Response Toolkit to support schools as they reopen for in-person instruction. This guidance is intended to supplement State guidance and resources with local contact tracing and COVID-19 response guidance. Click here for more info.

    COVID-19 Reporting

    Latest numbers. The Department of Health reported a total of 283,188 confirmed cases as of 11:59 pm on January 20. There have been 4,065 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. In Mercer Island, there have been 421 positive cases reported as of January 21. For that latest city and county data, click here.

  • State Data Dashboard

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    22 Mar 2021
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    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.

  • News for the Week of December 28

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    22 Mar 2021
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    News highlights for the week of December 28.

    Gov. Inslee announces extension of statewide restrictions through January 11. Gov. Jay Inslee today announced an extension of the "Stay Safe–Stay Healthy" proclamation, along with the statewide restrictions imposed. The extension of the statewide restrictions will now expire on January 11, 2021.

    Inslee issues proclamations on travel restrictions and updates to existing religious guidance. Monday Gov. Jay Inslee issued a 14-day quarantine requirement for anyone returning to Washington state after visiting the United Kingdom, South Africa and other countries where a new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, 501Y.V, has been circulating. Health experts believe this new variant may be more transmissible than other variants. The order applies to anyone who has been present in these countries within the prior 14 days. An individual is permitted to leave quarantine to perform certain essential activities (for example, seek medical treatment), provided that they avoid public transportation and ride-share services, wear a facial covering, separate themselves from other people to the greatest extent reasonably possible, and follow other appropriate social distancing measures. All individuals who are impacted by this order are strongly encouraged to be tested within seven days of returning to Washington. The full proclamation is available here.

    Inslee announces authorization of Moderna vaccine by Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup. On December 20, Gov. Jay Inslee announced the authorization of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup. The announcement came after the FDA and CDC granted their initial authorization of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

    Information for Businesses

    PPP Update. As part of the Federal stimulus package, the Paycheck Protection Program has reopened, focusing on businesses with fewer than 300 employees that have seen declines of at least 25% in revenue during 2020.

    Vaccine News

    Statement from the Washington State Department of Health. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) updated Washington’s 1A vaccine allocation guidance yesterday. We have worked closely with Gov. Inslee and his team and Dr. Umair A. Shah, the Secretary of Health, to review and update COVID-19 vaccine related matters in Washington.

    Some communities in Washington state have already completed or are very near to completing vaccination of their high-risk workers in health care settings as outlined in current DOH guidance. We will be adding a second tier to 1A that allows for the vaccination of all other workers in health care settings once high-risk workers are vaccinated.

    We acknowledge that while some communities are still working through 1A, others will be able to move to this second tier of 1A more quickly. Across Washington, it is important that health care systems actively reach out to and provide access to COVID-19 vaccination for the community-based health care workforce outside their systems and in their community. This includes other health care providers, school nurses, and behavioral health providers, in order to complete this phase and ensure we have a protected healthcare system.

    We are still working to finalize prioritization for 1B/1C and expect to release this guidance shortly after the new year, so that communities can begin planning outreach and vaccination of these groups next. Read the full press release here.

    COVID-19 vaccine distribution update from the Washington State Department of Health. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with our COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts. Last week, providers across the state began administering initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine to high-risk health workers, and now, more than 30,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been administered. We are thrilled with this progress in such a short time. This week, we allocated 44,850 Pfizer doses and 127,900 Moderna doses. That includes: 153,925 doses distributed to more than 220 sites in 37 counties; and 18,825 doses distributed to support long-term care facilities as well as 14 Tribes and Urban Indian Health Programs. Read more about the vaccine here.

    Video: Dr. Jeff Duchin on COVID-19 Trends & Vaccine Distribution. As the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine arrived King County this week, Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin answered questions and shared the latest information on rollout and distribution of vaccines in this video. For more on COVID-19 data trends, visit our data dashboards. For more on COVID-19 vaccine planning in King County click here.

    School News

    Public Health – Seattle & King County supports local efforts to open classrooms for younger learners. Emerging research and data from multiple sources show that schools can successfully limit the transmission of COVID-19 when they follow strong health and safety protocols. Click here to read more.

    Resources

    Coping with COVID: Grief and loss. When natural disasters happen, it is normal for people to experience loss and grief. Many of us have felt some form of loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, like the loss of a loved one, change in health, job loss, or even just the loss of our “normal” life. Any grief and loss we might be feeling is layered on top of all the other stress of a pandemic. Follow this link to learn about how most people experience grief and loss, and provide strategies for families to cope as we make our way through the pandemic.

    Inslee announces eviction moratorium extension. Gov. Jay Inslee Wednesday announced he will extend the eviction moratorium to March 31, 2021. The current moratorium was set to expire on December 31. A statement from the governor can be read here, additional details will come next week.

    Federal and State Resources. On December 27, the second federal pandemic relief bill was signed into law, which includes enhanced unemployment benefits and direct cash payments. Governor Inslee also made $54 million available to cover a week of lost benefits for unemployed Washingtonians. After that, eligible individuals will receive an additional $300 per week for 10 weeks in 2021. Pro-rated stimulus checks will soon be sent to individuals making up to $99,000/year, and eligible families will receive an additional $600 per child. The federal package provides $25 billion in rent assistance for those who lost income during the pandemic.

    COVID-19 Reporting

    King County Daily COVID-19 Outbreak Summary. As of December 30, King County reports that there have been a total of 369 positive cases in Mercer Island; 9,514 people have been tested. For more details, see the King County daily summary dashboard.

    COVID-19 Long-term Care Report. As of December 22, a total of 12,501 COVID-19 cases (6% of total cases) and 1,627 deaths (52% of total deaths) have been identified as associated with a long-term care (LTC) facility (i.e., nursing home, assisted living facility or adult family home). These cases include residents as well as employees and visitors. Not all of these cases were exposed at a LTC facility. Many cases visited multiple places during their exposure period, and some individuals may have visited a LTC facility after disease onset. Read the full report here.

    Last Call…

    2020 Situation Reports. December 18 was the final SitRep for 2020. If you are looking to catch up on the highlights of the City’s response to the pandemic, click here. The next update will be issued January 8.

    Have a safe New Years Eve! Cheers to 2021!

  • News for the Week of January 11

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    11 Mar 2021
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    News highlights for the week of January 11.

    King County is currently in Phase 1 of the state's Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery plan. On Jan. 11, King County entered Phase 1 of the state's new Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery plan. This new path forward allows us to balance fighting COVID-19 and saving lives with safely reopening the economy and vaccinating as many people as possible. Learn about what's open and its limitations. Click here to read more.

    State to Text Every Person Who Tests Positive. The State will be texting a verification code to every person in Washington state who tests positive for COVID-19. Check out the details here.

    Outbreak Data Now Available Through Online Dashboard. Updated data on COVID-19 outbreak settings is now available on Public Health’s COVID-19 webpage. It provides a snapshot of the number of outbreaks that Public Health has identified across various settings such as worksites, long term care facilities and schools. Follow this link to learn more about this reporting tool.

    DOH data shows high activity and signs of a recent uptick. On January 13, the Washington DOH released the latest statewide situation report on COVID-19. Click here to read the statewide SitRep.

    DoH announces all regions will remain in Phase 1 until at least Monday, Jan. 18. Based on Gov. Jay Inslee’s Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery plan released last week, all eight regions in Washington will remain in Phase 1 until at least Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Click here for the latest.

    Video Update from the City Manager. The next video update from City Manager Jessi Bon will take place on January 19 during the City Council meeting.

    January 15 Situation Report. For highlights and information from the 45th week of the City’s response to the pandemic, click here.

    Information for Businesses

    New Reopening Guidance for Businesses and Workers. On January 5, Governor Inslee announced the Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery plan, which lays out the process to safely reopen Washington state. The plan includes guidance for certain businesses and industries to help protect Washingtonians and minimize the spread of COVID-19. The full Healthy Washington phased chart is available here.

    Important Reference Documents

    Healthy Washington Requirements

    The following business activities must adhere to the occupancy and operation requirements outlined for their region’s Healthy Washington phase:

    Eating and Drinking Establishments

    Sports, Recreation and Fitness

    Indoor Entertainment Establishments

    Outdoor Entertainment Establishments

    Additional Industry Requirements

    Vaccine News

    King County COVID-19 Vaccine Data At-a-Glance. Page updated daily at https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/data/vaccination.aspx

    Vaccine distribution update from the DOH. On January 13, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) shared key updates on our COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts. Click here for the release. The graphic below are the vaccination numbers for King County (as of January 14):

    School News

    January 8 Update from Superintendent Colosky. Happy New Year! This week was a special one for our District as we welcomed our kindergarten students back as planned on Wednesday, the first public school district in King County to do so. The success of in-person kindergarten classes this week gives us added confidence to remain on schedule to bring first graders back on Tuesday, January 19. As MISD demonstrates the ability to limit transmission for the first graders brought back to in-person learning, we will continue with our Learning Forward plan and bring in the next grade bands of learners. Click here for the to continue reading.

    COVID-19 Reporting

    Latest numbers. The Department of Health reported a total of 271,643 confirmed cases as of 11:59 pm on January 13. There have been 3,876 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. In Mercer Island, there have been 412 positive cases reported as of January 14. For that latest city and county data, click here.

  • News for the Week of January 4

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    22 Mar 2021
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    News highlights for the week of January 4.

    City Receives CARES Act Grant to Reinstate Youth and Family Services Positions. At the January 6 Regular Meeting, the City Council voted to accept a $243,000 grant from the WA State Dept. of Commerce Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Fund, supported by the CARES Act. Seven school-based Counselors and one Emergency Assistance Coordinator have been restored to full-time for the entire 2021-2022 biennium. Click here to read more.

    Inslee announces Healthy Washington–Roadmap to Recovery. On Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced “Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery,” a COVID-19 phased recovery plan. Beginning on January 11, the state will follow a regional recovery approach with every region beginning in Phase 1. Read more here.

    Washington Vaccine Prioritization: Phase 1 Tiers A and B. On January 6, the State DOH released guidance for the next phase of COVID-19 vaccination. The department worked closely with the Governor’s Office to finalize prioritization for phase 1B, which is broken up into four separate tiers. It’s important to note that Washington is still in phase 1A of vaccinations, and will continue to be for the next few weeks. Click here for more information on groups eligible for vaccination in phase 1A and 1B.

    Straight Talk About the New Variant COVID-19 Strain. A compilation of tweets from Dr. Jeff Duchin, Chief Health Officer posted on January 2nd on the new COVID-19 strain. Click here to read more.

    New survey shows how COVID-19 is impacting basic needs, mental health, and social supports in King County. The coronavirus pandemic has brought dramatic changes to our lives – beyond the illness and death directly caused by the virus. Rising unemployment, increased needs for food assistance, and remote schooling are all economic and social impacts of COVID-19 that go beyond the daily counts of new cases or deaths. New data from the Washington State Community Recovery Oriented Needs Assessment (CORONA) survey show how widespread these impacts are. Click here to learn more.

    Inslee extends proclamation related to COVID-19; two others expire. Gov. Jay Inslee today updated Proclamation 20-49, which generally prohibits garnishment for consumer debt in certain circumstances, by replacing the specific reference to CARES Act stimulus payments with ‘federal stimulus payments’. This is a technical update. No other changes were made. This proclamation expires Jan. 19, as previously approved by the Legislature. Proclamation 20-58 waiving/suspending the legal requirement that employers pay shared work benefits and Proclamation 20-63 directing DSHS to expand the Family Emergency Assistance Program expired.

    Video Update from the City Manager. Click here to watch City Manager Jessi Bon’s January 5 update on the latest COVID-19 information and update on City services.

    January 8 Situation Report. Click here for highlights and information from the 44th week of the City’s response to the pandemic.

    Vaccine News

    King County COVID-19 Vaccine Data At-a-Glance. Page updated on Tuesdays:

    • Vaccine doses allocated to 70 facilities in King County: 107,925
    • King County residents who have received at least one dose of vaccine: 35,655
    • Vaccine doses allocated to Public Health – Seattle & King County: 3,900
    • Vaccine doses given by Public Health – Seattle & King County: 2,860

    Health insurers to waive copays and deductibles for COVID-19 vaccines. Most health insurers in Washington state have signaled their intent to immediately waive all cost-sharing for COVID-19 vaccinations. Policyholders will be covered regardless of where they receive the vaccination. Read the full news releases here.

    COVID-19 vaccine distribution update from the Washington State Department of Health. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with their COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts. As of Tuesday, January 5, 425,900 doses of vaccine had been delivered to the state, which includes allocations from both Moderna and Pfizer. Of that supply, providers have reported 110,225 total doses of vaccine administered since phase 1A began in mid-December. There is up to a three-day lag in data reported to the state database, so the actual total may be higher. These numbers also include doses set aside for long-term care facilities. The state also announced decisions on phase 1B groups plans. For more information click here.

    School News

    Kindergartners Return to In-Person Learning. MISD successfully welcomed back kindergarten to buildings on January 6 with all required safety measures in place. Click here for more.

    COVID-19 Reporting

    Latest numbers. The Department of Health reported a total of 253,401 confirmed cases as of 11:59 pm on January 6. There have been 3,634 COVID-19 deaths in Washington. In Mercer Island, there have been 388 positive cases reported as of January 7. For that latest city and county data, click here.

    January 7, 2021 data note from WA DOH. Total case counts may include up to 550 duplicates and negative test results data are incomplete from November 21-30, 2020 and December 23 through today. Thus, percent positivity (Testing tab) and case counts should be interpreted with caution. The Epidemiologic Curves tab is the most accurate representation of COVID activity and is updated daily as new cases are identified and duplicates are resolved.

    Last Call…

  • Statewide Contact Tracing Initiative

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    22 Mar 2021
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    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.


  • Updated Message from Public Health Regarding Return to In-Person Learning

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    22 Mar 2021
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    Note: This message is in response to Public Health—Seattle & King County hearing many comments from the community as K-12 schools look toward providing broader in-person services.

    By Jeff Duchin, MD, Health Officer for Public Health—Seattle & King County

    Originally published January 20, 2021 in Public Health Insider

    We at Public Health are grateful to have heard from so many voices — from families, students, teachers, school staff, and administrators — about their experiences, concerns, and desires related to K-12 learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Feelings of fear and uncertainty in response to planning for expanded in-person instruction during the pandemic are very real for many people, and understandable given the unfamiliar and evolving nature of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Responding to the release of the Washington State Department of Health’s (DOH) revised Tools to Prepare for Provision of In-Person Learning in December 2020, Public Health acknowledged in a statement that resuming and maintaining in-person learning may pose risks to children and staff (including teachers, school administrators, and other staff in the school environment), and to their families and household members. And consistent with guidance from DOH and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), thoroughly and consistently following COVID-19 health and safety measures will sustain the greatest possible level of risk reduction.

    At this time, Washington state guidance for in-person learning has not changed in response to the recent licensure of COVID-19 vaccines for persons aged 16-64 years or in response to the recent emergence of more transmissible variants of COVID-19.

    • When available, COVID-19 vaccination can help lower risk to school staff in addition to, but not as a replacement for, effective implementation of the COVID-19 safety guidelines required by the Governor. Currently, vaccine supplies are limited nationally and in Washington State. Vaccine prioritization guidance (and any changes thereto) for school staff will be made by the Washington State DOH. King County will facilitate local implementation of that guidance.
    • The newly recognized COVID-19 variant strain spreads more easily than previous strains but is not thought to cause more severe illness. Currently recommended prevention measures are the same for the variant as for previous strains, although adherence to the measures must be higher to have the same impact on preventing transmission.

    The risks of COVID-19 from in-person learning must be weighed against the benefits and the harms from not having in-person attendance to students’ emotional, social, academic, and physical wellbeing. For this reason, CDC recommends that K–12 schools be the last settings to close after all other mitigation measures have been employed and the first to reopen when they can do so safely. It is also crucial to provide families and students the option of remote instruction for those who are the most vulnerable to the risk of COVID-19 transmission and its associated impacts.

    Public Health recognizes that school boards and leadership are ultimately responsible for establishing appropriate education services. We remain available to consult and help inform decision making.

  • Governor Issues New International Travel Quarantine for Travelers from UK and South Africa

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    11 Mar 2021
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    On December 21, Governor Inslee issued a Proclamation regarding travel to Washington State from countries experiencing a new variant of COVID-19, currently including the United Kingdom and South Africa.

    Effective immediately, travelers from the affected countries are legally required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the state, but will not be detained at this time. More details are expected in the coming days.

    Only the federal government can prohibit international flights into Washington State, but other neighboring states may also issue their own similar quarantines. Many other countries in Europe and elsewhere have already suspended incoming flights from the U.K.

    In the U.K., the new strain is being observed to spread far faster and is now the most common variant in London. It is still unclear if that is due to higher infectivity, or if it will be any more deadly than current strains. This new variant has not yet been observed via genomic testing in the United States.

    In the meantime, health experts recommend that all people continue the same protective practices: use a mask, socially distance, limit travel, and avoid in-person holiday gatherings (especially indoors).

    The Governor noted that there is some better news to share: Congress should vote today (December 21) to pass a new Coronavirus relief bill, and the second vaccine has reached Washington. He also reiterated that the state is still not seeing a post-Thanksgiving spike in cases, but we must all do the same thing again for the next phase of the holiday season in order to prevent a spike in early January.

  • Social Distancing Guidelines

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    22 Mar 2021
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