COVID-19 Information

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King County is currently in recovery Phase 2

The City of Mercer Island is committed to sharing up-to-date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with the community. These pages share the latest information, resources, and ways residents can help. Given the amount of information available, and specific needs of the community, we have created separate pages for businesses, community resources and assistance, and construction. Make sure to check out these pages for information specific to those topics.




King County is currently in recovery Phase 2

The City of Mercer Island is committed to sharing up-to-date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with the community. These pages share the latest information, resources, and ways residents can help. Given the amount of information available, and specific needs of the community, we have created separate pages for businesses, community resources and assistance, and construction. Make sure to check out these pages for information specific to those topics.




  • Groveland Beach Park Temporarily Closes for Public Safety

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    6 days ago

    On July 30, the City of Mercer Island closed Groveland Beach Park to the public, including the parking lot and dock, until further notice.

    This difficult decision is intended to minimize the frequent large gatherings that have been occurring at the park for several weeks.

    Despite extensive City outreach efforts -- notices via City social media platforms, update at the 7/21 Council Meeting, park signage, and staff connecting with park patrons -- many patrons at Groveland Beach Park have not complied with social distancing requirements, the statewide mask mandate, or adhered to the group size limit, which is currently 5 people or fewer in King County.

    Staff blocked the parking lot and placed fencing at the entrance to the park. Electronic message boards have been stationed on the street leading into Groveland Park to help reduce potential traffic congestion.

    “We know how much people enjoy getting outdoors in the hot weather and need opportunities to safely recreate,” said City Manager Jessi Bon. “But after weeks of education, mask distribution, signage, and warnings about crowding at Groveland Beach Park, this was our only option remaining to protect public safety. The pandemic is still very much underway.”

    Excessive park use was also leading to parking lot overflows into adjacent neighborhoods and dangerous conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. The situation was requiring additional patrols by the Mercer Island Police Department, drawing officers away from other work.

    Significant amounts of trash were also straining very limited parks maintenance staffing. We could use your help! Pack out your garbage and bring an extra garbage bag to help pick up any trash items someone else may have left behind.

    Most park amenities elsewhere on Mercer Island remain open. The City asks all park patrons to comply with social distancing and mask rules, pack out picnic garbage, and consider exploring our lesser-known park locations. Details on what’s open can also be found at: www.mercerisland.gov/PlaySafe


  • CORONA Survey

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    7 days ago

    Washington State DOH officials are hoping to understand economic, social, and behavioral impacts and needs of residents across the state. Help them out by taking part in the CORONA Survey.

    The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) launched the CORONA survey to assess the behavioral, economic, social, and emotional impacts and the needs of communities across the state as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Survey results will inform immediate, long-term, and ongoing actions that DOH and local health jurisdictions can take to address the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on Washingtonians.

    In order to appropriately and equitably inform recovery plans at the state and local levels, DOH is requesting residents from across Washington to go to www.wacoronasurvey.com to take part in the survey. (To take the survey by phone, call 855-530-5787—interpreters are available to assist.)

    The survey is voluntary and confidential.

    At the end of the survey, participants will be given the option to provide their name, phone number and/or email address. Each week of the survey, three participants will receive a $100 Amazon.com gift code as a thank you for their time and participation.

    If you have additional questions about the CORONA Survey, you can call the Washington State Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127.

  • 2020-2021 School Year Planning Community Webinar - July 30

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    9 days ago


    MISD families are invited to join District leaders for a Zoom webinar from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 30 to learn more about the Learning Forward plans for the 2020-21 school year. The webinar will be recorded for those unable to attend.

    Here is the link to the Zoom webinar:
    https://mercerislandschools.zoom.us/j/99856769251?pwd=Y0hwVlhIY0g1RkdvQ0drM29Oa2lPdz09

    For more information on planning for the 2020-21 school year, visit mercerislandschools.org/fall2020.

  • Governor Announces More Changes in an Effort to Slow COVID-19

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    12 days ago

    On Thursday, the Governor announced changes to the state's Safe Start approach including face coverings, restaurants, fitness centers, weddings and funerals, and entertainment.

    On July 23, Gov. Jay Inslee and Secretary of Health John Wiesman announced changes to “Safe Start,” Washington’s phased approach to reopening. The changes target activities that data have shown provide a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure.

    To combat the rising numbers, the governor and secretary are changing guidance and regulations around restaurants, bars, and fitness centers, as well as weddings and funerals. The changes will also affect family entertainment centers, movie theaters and card rooms.

    Restaurants
    Restaurant guidance will now require parties to be members of the same household in order to dine indoors. Outdoor dining and take-away remains available for small parties from different households.

    Table size for dine-in in Phase 3 will be reduced to five individuals and occupancy reduced from 75% to 50%.

    Restaurants must also close gaming and social areas, such as pool tables, dart boards and video games.

    Bars will be closed for indoor service, but can continue outdoor service. Alcohol service inside of restaurants must end by 10 p.m. These regulations take effect in one week, on July 30.

    Fitness centers
    The number of individuals allowed to use fitness centers and other physical health venues at a given time will also be reduced.

    In Phase 2, only five individuals — not including staff — will be allowed for indoor fitness services at a time. This includes gyms, fitness studios, and indoor pools, ice rinks, volleyball courts, and tennis facilities. These are limited to small group instruction or private training.

    Fitness center occupancy in Phase 3 will be reduced to 25%. All group fitness classes are limited to no more than 10, not including the instructors. The changes are effective July 30.

    Entertainment regulations
    Indoor family entertainment and recreation centers — like mini golf, bowling alleys, and arcades — are prohibited from opening, as well as indoor card rooms. Indoor movie theater occupancy will be reduced from 50% to 25% in Phase 3.

    Weddings and funerals
    Under the new guidance, ceremonies will remain permitted, but receptions are prohibited. Ceremonies must adhere to current guidance; for all phases, maximum indoor occupancy is 20%, or up to 30 people, whichever is less, as long as social distancing can be observed.

    The changes will take effect in two weeks, on Aug. 6, providing a grace period for weddings and funerals previously scheduled to take place or readjust their plans.

    Face coverings
    In addition to those changes, Wiesman announced an expansion of his face coverings order that will go into effect Saturday, July 25.
    The expansion will require face coverings in all common spaces, such as elevators, hallways and shared spaces in apartment buildings, university housing and hotels, as well as congregate setting such as nursing homes.

    Eviction moratorium extension
    Inslee also announced an extension of the state’s eviction moratorium to Oct. 15. Details on the extension will be released in the coming days.

  • Upcoming Mask Distribution Events

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    28 days ago

    City Emergency Management Volunteers continue to distribute face coverings to the Mercer Island community. Here are details for upcoming distribution events.

    Upcoming Events

    King County Drive-Through Event

    Mercer Island Event

    • Friday, August 7 from 7am-10am
    • Location: Mercerdale Park (additional locations TBA)


    Past Events

    Volunteers have handed out more masks at City parks and in Town Center (pictures below). Volunteers have spent over 600 hours helping out their fellow residents and have passed out over 3,000 masks to date - thank you, volunteers!











    King County also has mask distribution events. Click here for more information.

  • FAQs About Face Coverings and Enforcement in Businesses

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    21 days ago

    The Governor's Order is in effect, requiring businesses not to serve unmasked patrons (with limited exemptions). Learn more about face coverings in general from this King County FAQ, and about enforcement in businesses from the State's FAQ.

    If you think a business is not complying with Safe Start guidance, submit an anonymous report. Background: Guidelines for enforcement for the Governor's order.

  • Enjoying the Great Outdoors

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    3 months ago

    Summer is here! Time to get outside and play - safely.

    Updated July 17: Mercer Island parks and trails, athletic fields and courts, the boat launch, P-Patch, dog park, skate park, and beaches are open for non-organized recreation!

    Continue to practice physical distancing in parks, on trails, and while boating.

    Remember, King County is in Phase 2 which only allows for gatherings of up to 5 people. Please keep your distance from others and avoid gatherings. Wear a mask when you can't maintain a distance of 6 feet from others.

    Consider visiting early in the morning when parks are much less crowded.

    With our limited staffing, City parks won’t look as maintained as you may be used to. You can help by following “pack it in, pack it out” practices.

    Remember, Safety First when playing around water.

    The MI Boat Launch and beaches are open. As you make your plans to get out on the water, please remember your water safety. Lake Washington is still COLD, and all swimmers and boaters should always wear a life jacket. (See below for more information.)

    Mercer Island beaches are not staffed with lifeguards.

    Many Federal, State, and County parks and trails are open.

    Here are a just few tips to help you and your family stay healthy while enjoying the outdoors:

    1. Plan ahead.
    2. Keep your distance.
      • Recreate with those in your household and up to 5 others.
      • Give others plenty of room, communicate who will step aside on the trail, and don’t forget that trail etiquette gives hikers coming uphill the right of way.
    3. Stay local.
      • Don’t stray too far from home when recreating.
      • Help keep rural communities safe by minimizing stops and bringing all that you’ll need for your outing.
    4. Play it safe.
      • Reduce the risk of injury and adding to the strain on our health care and emergency services by keeping your activities within your comfort and skill level.
    5. Leave no trace.

    Some of the ways we recreate have changed in the era of COVID-19, but don't worry - there are plenty of resources to help you navigate your favorite pastimes. Check out the links below:


  • Updated High-Risk List

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    28 days ago

    The CDC updated the high-risk list, and it’s not just older adults.

    The latest scientific studies reviewed by the CDC show that people with the following conditions, or suffer from the following, are also more at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, regardless of their age:

    • Chronic kidney disease
    • Chronic lung disease
    • People who have had organ transplants
    • Serious heart conditions
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Asthma
    • Cystic fibrosis
    • High blood pressure
    • Dementia
    • Liver disease
    • Type 1 diabetes
    • A weakened immune system

    The latest evidence also suggests that obesity is another high risk factor, and that pregnant women and smokers might be at increased risk. For the full list and more information, visit the CDC website.

    If you are in a group that the CDC has identified as high-risk or needing extra precautions, avoid contact outside the home as much as possible. Everyone should continue to:

    • Wear face coverings.
    • Stay at least six feet away from other people.
    • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
    • Avoid large group activities - Phase 2 only allows for gatherings of less than 5 people from outside your household.
    • When gathering, do so outside - ventilation helps.
  • Statewide Face Mask Requirements

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    about 1 month ago

    It's official - face coverings are now required in most public places in Washington and businesses must refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask.

    Updated July 14: On June 23, Governor Jay Inslee and Secretary of Health John Wiesman announced an order mandating the use of cloth face coverings in most public areas. The order took effect June 26. Shortly after, Governor Inslee announced a statewide order for businesses to refuse service to patrons who are not wearing face coverings. The order went into effect Tuesday, July 7.

    Individuals are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces like stores, offices, and restaurants. The order also requires face coverings outdoors when individuals can't stay 6 feet apart.

    Face covering may be removed when seated at a restaurant or when recreating alone. Individuals do not need to wear a cloth face covering in their home when they are only with people in their household, alone in their car, or outdoors and people are far apart.

    Exemptions. People with certain disabilities or health conditions, are deaf or hard of hearing, and children under the age of 5 (though it's encouraged to have children ages 3-5 wear a covering if possible) are not required to wear face coverings.

    Enforcement. Customers who are concerned that a business is not adequately enforcing the face mask order or other Safe Start requirements can submit an anonymous complaint. Violations can be enforced by Labor & Industries as a safety and health violation by the employer that could carry a penalty of nearly $10,000 or more. Individuals not following the DOH order on face coverings may be subject to a misdemeanor charge with a fine of up to $100 and/or up to 90 days in county jail per RCW 43.70.130(7), RCW 70.05.120(4), and WAC 246-100-070(3). Click here for more information.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Still need a face covering? Please contact the City's COVID-19 Hotline, 206-275-7626 or coronavirus@mercergov.org. The City also hosts regular distribution events in City parks and Town Center. If you need a face covering now, check out this very simple, 45-second video on how to make a covering out of a t-shirt or check out other DIY, no-sew face covering options.

    Wear it right! We're still seeing people who are not quite wearing face coverings correctly. Make sure you are following best practices. And don't forget to wash your face coverings regularly!

    It really does help! The CDC just released a report highlighting the effectiveness of face coverings against COVID-19 transmission. Click here to read their report.

    More. Click through these links to learn more about Face Coverings and Children and the Science of Masks.

  • Testing Locations in King County

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    3 months ago

    Expanded testing now available in King County.

    Updated July 16: To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, King County Public Health recommends that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 be tested right away.

    Public Health strongly urges anyone who has even mild COVID-19 symptoms to call their healthcare provider as soon as they start to feel sick to ask about COVID-19 testing. COVID-19 symptoms are cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.

    It is important not to wait to be tested.

    If you have COVID-19, you are contagious. A COVID-19 test will let you know if you are infected so you can protect your family, friends and community by keeping yourself away from others. Staying away from others when you have COVID-19 is crucial to slow the spread of the virus in our community. You should also call your healthcare provider and ask for a test if you live with or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you may be contagious and should stay away from others.

    Where to go.

    There are several low or no-cost testing sites that are open to anyone who cannot access COVID-19 testing through their regular healthcare provider. King County updates their list of free testing each Wednesday. Bookmark this link to their map of testing sites to see the most up-to-date list of sites. Call ahead to confirm hours & availability.

    If you are still having difficulty accessing a COVID-19 test, call the King County COVID-19 call center, which is open seven days a week 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., at 206-477-3977.

    Wondering what you should do once you or a family member has been tested?

    King County Public Health has put together a great infographic that tells you exactly what to do! Check it out:

    Information provided by / published in PHSKC's Public Health Insider.