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 November 16

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    11 Mar 2021
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    News and highlights for the week of November 16.

    Mask-Giving Day. The “Mask-Giving” giveaway will take place this Saturday, November 21, at the MICEC from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Click here for more info.

    Video: A Conversation About Supporting Our Kids' Mental Health. On November 17, MI Parent Edge and the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Department presented a virtual conversation about supporting our kids' mental health with MIYFS Elementary Counselors. The video is available here.

    November 20 Situation Report. Click here for highlights and information from the 38th week of the City’s response to the pandemic.

    Video Update from the City Manager. Click here to watch City Manager Jessi Bon’s November 17 update on the latest COVID-19 information and update on City services.

    Top Headlines

    Inslee announces cap on third-party delivery fees to help restaurants. On Thursday, Gov. Inslee announced a new cap on fees charged to restaurants by third-party delivery platforms, such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates and others. For more information, click here.

    Governor Announces Tighter COVID-19 Restrictions Including In-Home Gatherings. On November 15, Gov. Inslee announced a four-week tightening of COVID-19 restrictions that began on Monday, November 16 at midnight. Click here for more.

    From KC Public Health: This Thanksgiving Requires A New Approach – And Extra Caution. COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in King County, Washington State and nationwide. More and more frequently, the virus is spreading within small groups and households. It’s moving from friend to friend, from family member to family member. If they weren't already adjusting their holiday plans, people across the state must rethink them now. Read more here.

    Vaccine News

    Video: How COVID Vaccines Are Made. Have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine? The Washington State Dept. of Health put together this video to help answer them. Check it out!

    School News

    In-Person Learning Update from MISD Supt. Colosky. On November 13, Superintendent Colosky updated the community on return to in-person learning plans. Click here for her update.

    Resources

    New Free Test Site at Highline College. Starting this week, south King County will have a new option for convenient, free COVID-19 testing. A new site at Highline College in Des Moines will expand efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in a disproportionately affected region of King County. These sites are free and open to anyone, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Click here for details.

  • News for the Week of November 23

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    11 Mar 2021
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    News and highlights for the week of November 23.

    COVID-19 disease transmission exceedingly high in Washington: three-day cumulative total for cases is over 6,000. The Washington State Department of Health’s (DOH) data report for Monday includes a backlog of cases. So, while we are reporting 6,277 new cases today, that number represents roughly three days’ worth of cases. Click here for the full press release.

    COVID-19 testing unavailable at some locations during Thanksgiving holiday. If you are planning to get tested this week, check the schedule for temporary service closures in observance of Thanksgiving and call any of the site locations if you have any questions. Follow this link for more information on testing sites in King County.

    Video: As COVID cases skyrocket, an update from Dr. Jeff Duchin. As cases skyrocket and hospitalizations increase, Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, shared updates on COVID-19 and what the public needs to do to turn the outbreak around. View the video here.

    Department of Health urges people to limit Thanksgiving gatherings, not seek screening tests. On Friday evening, the Department of Health (DOH) released a statement discouraging people without symptoms from seeking tests. DOH strongly urges everyone to limit their holiday celebrations to only members of their immediate households. They also encourage anyone with symptoms or close contact with someone who is infected (or suspected to be infected) with COVID-19 to get tested now. For more, click here.

    Inslee announces additional COVID-19 financial support. On November 20, Gov. Jay Inslee announced additional financial support funds for families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The total new economic supports amount to $135 million. Click here for more information.

    Mercer Island Updates

    Video Update from the City Manager. The next video update will take place during the Tuesday, December 1 City Council Meeting. Watch the update on MITV-21 or YouTube.

    Situation Report. Due to the holiday, there will be no SitRep posted on November 27. Click here to get caught up on previous SitReps.

    In-Person Learning Update from MISD Supt. Colosky. On November 21, Superintendent Colosky provided another update to the community about a delay in the plan for students to return to in-person. As of November 21, anticipated in-person learning for kindergarten will begin in January. Click here for her update.

    Information for Businesses

    New SSTAR Program mobile outreach schedule for bars and restaurants. Public Health's Food Protection Program is going mobile and is giving away free safety supplies for bars and restaurants throughout King County. Click here for more information.

    New document for food establishment managers: Required Information for COVID Prevention and Control Plan for Restaurants with Close Contacts. Found on the webpage, "When food workers are positive for COVID-19", if you operate a restaurant or other food service facility in King County, you are required to submit a COVID Prevention and Control Plan for approval under specific circumstances.

    Vaccine News

    COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan 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 planning efforts, and are hopeful a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 will be available before the end of the year. This week we heard encouraging news about a second COVID-19 vaccine candidate. We are excited that there are potentially two very effective vaccines close to being ready for approval. Follow this link for the full update.

    Resources

    Coping with COVID: It’s not just you. Dealing with COVID-19 has been difficult for everyone. As we move into fall, we face even more challenges: changing weather, schoolwork, holidays and gatherings, and strong political opinions. Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? It’s not just you. The things you’re feeling and experiencing are normal during a disaster, and there are things you can do to cope. To help you navigate this unprecedented time, we are bringing you a podcast series of conversations with experts on many of the topics we’re facing daily. Click here for more.

    Ways to Help

    YFS Winter Holiday Program. The MIYFS Emergency Assistance Department is planning their annual Holiday program for families experiencing economic insecurity on the Island. The goal is to ensure no child would celebrate their family's winter holiday without a gift or a special holiday meal. The anticipated cost this year to serve 50 families (including 90 children) is $13,000, which will require additional donations to support. Please consider making a donation today at www.miyfs.org/donate.

    Keep it local King County. As King County follows statewide temporary restrictions on public gatherings, Public Health - Seattle & King County and King County Executive Constantine is encouraging residents to patronize local businesses. Learn more about how to help here.

  • Renewing Your Drivers License in the time of COVID-19

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    11 Mar 2021
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    The DOL wants YOU to renew online.

    Washington’s Department of Licensing has moved to online services. If you need to meet with a representative in person, you’ll need an appointment. Take care to plan ahead, because social distancing and other safety measures are limiting the DOLs capacity, and appointments fill quickly.

    "To ensure residents with urgent needs — think identification for meds or employment, not an enhanced upgrade — can get an appointment, we’re asking those with non-urgent requests to go online, hold off, or find another way until the health emergency is over."

    If your license or permit expired between March 1 - September 30 this year, the DOL has extended the renewal period. Extensions vary. Please visit the DOL website for details.

  • Vaccine Timeline: Advancing to Phase 1B-Tier2 on March 22

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    11 Mar 2021
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    On March 4, Governor Inslee announced that the state would advance to Phase 1B-Tier2 on March 22.

    Phase 1B-Tier2 includes essential workers in the following groups:

    • First responders, law enforcement, and firefighters.
    • Grocery store workers.
    • Workers in agriculture and food processing.
    • Public transit employees.
    • Corrections employees at jails and detention centers.

    Phase 1B2 also includes anyone 16 and older who is either pregnant or has a disability that puts them at higher risk.


  • Vaccination Update: Washington Moves into Phase 1B

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    11 Mar 2021
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    As of Jan. 18, 2021, all older adults in Washington state over the age of 65 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

    People 50 and older who live in multigenerational households are also eligible if they meet certain conditions. Due to limited supply of vaccine, not everyone will be able to access a vaccine right away. Access will improve as the supply chain widens and providers in King County receive more doses.

    Don't fall into this category? Follow this link to use the Department of Heath's Phase Finder so you can know when it is your turn.

    Visit our vaccine page for informational videos and other information about vaccines.

  • New Local Health Order on Isolation and Quarantine Directive

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    11 Mar 2021
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    On March 28, the King County Public Health Officer issued a new quarantine directive and isolation order.

    Quarantine Directive: People with symptoms, with a test result pending, are directed to “remain in quarantine while waiting for the test results.”

    Isolation Order: People who have tested positive are to “remain in isolation until no longer infectious.”

    King County is working on setting up quarantine and isolation facilities for people who are unable to quarantine at home due to more vulnerable family members or other situations. The following locations have been or are being set up:

    • Issaquah isolation and quarantine hotel now open
    • Kent isolation and quarantine hotel now open
    • Eastgate isolation and quarantine center will open April 10
    • Seattle has one isolation and quarantine center open with another opening soon

    If you need to utilize an isolation or quarantine facility due to a positive test result, contact the King County COVID-19 call center between 8:00 AM–7:00 PM PST at 206-477-3977 for more information and to register.

    Let’s continue working together as a community to keep everyone healthy!

  • Governor Announces Tighter COVID-19 Restrictions Including In-Home Gatherings

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    11 Mar 2021
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    Updated: On November 15, Governor Jay Inslee announced a four-week tightening of COVID-19 restrictions that will begin Monday, November 16 at midnight.

    In response to what the Governor and state officials have dubbed an “explosive situation,” the series of updated measures are aimed at pushing back this third wave of the pandemic.

    Washington has “entered a phase of accelerated or exponential growth of the outbreak,” State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy said. “The number of cases reported each day in our state has more than doubled from about 1,000 cases a day reported, to more than 2,200 cases reported per day. If that doubling time continues, in two more weeks, we’ll be seeing over 4,000 cases per day.”

    “Today we are in a more dangerous position than we were in March,” the Governor continued during the special weekend press conference, but he is confident that Washington can knock down the virus again. To do that, he is implementing a series of modified restrictions, including:

    • Indoor gatherings with people outside the household will be prohibited unless participants:
      1. Quarantine for fourteen days (14) prior to the social gathering; or
      2. Quarantine for the seven (7) days prior to the gathering, and receive a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 48-hours prior to the gathering.
    • Outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than five people.
    • Restaurants and Bars are closed for indoor dine-in service. Outdoor dining and to-go service are permitted, provided that all outdoor dining must comply with the requirements of the Outdoor Dining Guidance. Table size for outdoor dining is limited to a maximum of five (5) people. These modified restaurant and bar restrictions go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, November 18, 2020.
    • Fitness Facilities and Gyms are closed for indoor operations. Outdoor fitness classes are permitted but are subject to and limited by the outdoor social gathering restriction listed above.
    • Bowling Centers are closed for indoor service.
    • Miscellaneous Venues: All retail activities and business meetings are prohibited. Only professional training and testing that cannot be performed remotely, as well as all court and judicial branch-related proceedings, are allowed. Occupancy in each meeting room is limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
      • Miscellaneous venues include: convention/conference centers, designated meeting spaces in a hotel, events centers, fairgrounds, sporting arenas, nonprofit establishment, or a substantially similar venue.
    • Movie Theaters are closed for indoor service. Drive-in movie theaters are permitted and must continue to follow current drive-in movie theater guidance.
    • Museums/Zoos/Aquariums are closed for indoor service.
    • Real Estate: Open houses are prohibited.
    • Wedding and Funerals: Ceremonies are limited to a total of no more than 30 people. Indoor receptions, wakes, or similar gatherings in conjunction with such ceremonies are prohibited.
    • In-Store Retail shall be limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits, and common/congregate seating areas and indoor dining facilities such as food courts are closed.
    • Religious Services are limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits, or no more than 200 people, whichever is fewer. Congregation members/attendees must wear facial coverings at all times and congregation singing is prohibited. No choir, band, or ensemble shall perform during the service. Vocal or instrumental soloists are permitted to perform, and vocal soloists may have a single accompanist. Outdoor services must follow the Outdoor Dining Guidance, found here, applicable to the structure or facility.
    • Professional Services are required to mandate that employees work from home when possible and close offices to the public if possible. Any office that must remain open must limit occupancy to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits.
    • Personal Services are limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits.
      • Personal service providers include: cosmetologists, cosmetology testing, hairstylists, barbers, estheticians, master estheticians, manicurists, nail salon workers, electrologists, permanent makeup artists, tanning salons, and tattoo artists.
    • Long-term Care Facilities: Outdoor visits are permitted. Indoor visits are prohibited, but individual exceptions for an essential support person or end-of-life care are permitted. These restrictions are also extended to the facilities in Proclamation 20-74, et seq. All other provisions of Proclamations 20-66, et seq., and 20-74, et seq., including all preliminary criteria to allow any visitors, remain in effect.
    • Youth and Adult Sporting Activities: Indoor activities and all contests and games are prohibited. Outdoor activities shall be limited to intra-team practices only, with facial coverings required for all coaches, volunteers and athletes at all times.

    While not as restrictive as March’s “Stay Home Order,” the revised guidelines place an immense financial burden on small businesses. The state is committing an additional $50 million in aid; the details of the financial assistance program will be announced in the coming days. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through the Small Business Administration are still available to small businesses. (Follow this link for tips from a Mercer Island business owner.)

    The restrictions are statewide and will take effect Monday, November 16 at 11:59 PM and will remain in effect until Monday, December 14. The modified restrictions of restaurants, however, will take effect Wednesday, November 18 at 12:01 AM.

  • Washington Vaccine Prioritization: Phase 1 Tiers A and B

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    11 Mar 2021
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    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.

    Groups eligible for vaccination in phase 1B include:

    Phase 1B1 - (Tier 1)
    January
    • All people 70 years and older
    • People 50 years and older who live in multigenerational households
    Phase 1B2 - (Tier 2)
    February
    • High risk critical workers 50 years and older who work in certain congregate settings: Agriculture; food processing; grocery stores; K-12 (teachers and school staff); childcare; corrections, prisons, jails or detention facilities (staff); public transit; fire; law enforcement
    Phase 1B3 - (Tier 3)
    March
    • People 16 years or older with two or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions
    Phase 1B4 - (Tier 4)
    April
    • High-risk critical workers in certain congregate settings under 50 years
    • People, staff and volunteers all ages in congregate living settings:
    • Correctional facilities; group homes for people with disabilities; people experiencing homelessness that live in or access services in congregate settings


    Additional details of phase 1B will be posted on the state's website.

    Many pharmacies, clinics and hospitals are vaccinating people in 1A1 (tier 1), and others have moved to 1A2 (tier 2). While phase 1A is still the priority, the release of phase 1B guidance will help facilities, counties and individuals plan for the months ahead. Once ready to start phase 1B, the state will let communities know how and where to get vaccine.

    “Vaccine prioritization decisions are complex, but based in a need for equitable distribution. Our priority has been to get the vaccine to high-priority people first.”

    Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah

    Nearly 20,000 people across the state weighed in on the prioritization through focus groups, interviews, and surveys over the past few months. This feedback directly informed the state's recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine prioritization and allocation.

  • Updates from the City Manager

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    11 Mar 2021
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    City Manager Jessi Bon hosted eleven live City situation briefings on Thursdays from March through May. In June, she transitioned to updates via her City Manager's Report.

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

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

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

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Next meeting: January 5

    December 1 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    November 17 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    November 2 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    October 20 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    October 6 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    September 15 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    September 1 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    August 4 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    July 21 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    July 7 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    June 16 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    June 9 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    June 2 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    June 1 - Special Live Video Briefing

    May 19 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    May 5 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    April 21 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    April 7 - Video and PowerPoint Presentation

    - - - - - - - - - -

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

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


  • Metro Service Changes

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    11 Mar 2021
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    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.