COVID-19 Community Resources

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This page is dedicated to the many resources available to the Mercer Island Community.


This page is dedicated to the many resources available to the Mercer Island Community.

  • Care Connect Washington – A New Way to Get COVID-19 Relief

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    New program helps people who have either tested positive or been exposed and need support to isolate or quarantine at home.

    On December 9, the DOH announced a new service to help people who have to isolate or quarantine at home after testing positive for COVID-19 or being exposed.

    Care Connect Washington will provide critical resources to people who need support when they’re staying home.

    The state Department of Health, working with local health jurisdictions and their partners, will introduce Care Connect Washington on a region-by-region basis. Each region will set up a network of community-based partners who will connect people to services they are eligible for, such as medication delivery, health care, help applying for unemployment, local housing agencies, food banks, childcare providers and more.

    Care coordinators will connect people to community-based services to help provide acute care needs that include personal care kits, nonperishable food kits, and fresh food orders delivered to their homes. If other essential needs are identified, such as financial assistance for paying bills, a local care coordinator will work with them to either apply for local resources or services they may be eligible for, or provide direct assistance in paying bills such as rent, mortgage, and utilities. When isolation or quarantine ends, the care coordinator can connect people to longer-term local services to support ongoing health and social needs.

    Click here for information about the program.

  • Youth Suicide Prevention Resources for Parents

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    Now, more than ever, we need to understand the signs to help prevent youth suicide.

    Updated On November 2, King County Public Health issued a Health Advisory for increased risk of suicide among youth.

    As the on-going pandemic and the corresponding exhaustion and emotional fatigue that we are feeling continues, combined with seasonal changes and more difficulty connecting with the people and supports that typically help us cope. Young people may be even more at risk due to less access to their typical social networks.

    On Thursday, November 19, MI Parent Edge & the MI Forefront Team (a partnership between MIYFS, MISD and MI Parent Edge) presented a free, virtual event to help parents to learn prevention strategies to help youth in crisis stay safe and get support.

    A recording of the webinar is available. (This webinar, presented by UW Forefront, is the same material that was presented by the MI Forefront Team.)

    The webinar teaches essential skills for suicide prevention for parents and caregivers of youth. Learn how to:

    • make your home safer to prevent the risk of suicide
    • ask your kid about suicide in a safe way
    • recognize the signs of a mental health crisis
    • practical steps to address it

    Don't forget! The City's Youth and Family Services (YFS) team is here to help. Call the confidential Intake Line (206) 275-7657 for more information and assistance.

    More Resources

    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

    Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741

    Crisis Connections: 866-427-4747

    TeenLink: Call or text 866-833-6546

    Washington Warm Line: 877-500-9276

    WA Listens (crisis line for stress related to COVID-19): 1-833-681-0211

    Additional resources

    KCLS and Youth Eastside Services also offered three programs about teen mental health and health resources for parents. Information about the programs can be accessed below.

  • March Maskness - Mask Giveaway this Friday!

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    This event is in the past.
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    Mercer Island Emergency Management Volunteers will be in Mercer Island parks handing out masks on Friday, March 12 from 9:00 - 11:00am.

    Swing by and pick up a fresh face covering!

  • State Ready to Help with Unemployment Assistance

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    This article has been archived.

    Pandemic unemployment assistance benefits will not expire for Washingtonians.

    On December 8, Governor Inslee announced that the state will help provide Washington residents with unemployment assistance if Congress does not extend CARES Act Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funding at the end of the year.

    Follow this link to watch the Governor's announcement.

  • Resources for the Week of November 30

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    Seattle-Area Emergency Food Resources Map. There are resources across King County to provide emergency food during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find food banks, meals to go, and student meals through the Seattle-Area Emergency Food Resources Map.

    Coping with COVID: Developing resilience. Information about mental health and self-care has been popping up everywhere as we collectively cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Buzzwords keep showing up to describe what people are going through right now: “burnout,” “compassion fatigue,” and “resilience.” Understanding these experiences can help us care for ourselves in the months ahead, read more here.

    Jobs with King County Available. The jobs website gets updated weekly with new available positions. If you don't see a role that meets your interest and qualifications, bookmark the site and check back at a future date to see what's available.

    Join Becky Reitzes from Public Health – Seattle & King County in Zoom conversation. The conversation will be on the Zoom platform where Becky will discuss the basics of the virus and how to stay safe during the holidays. Please register by 12pm on Dec. 8 to receive a Zoom invite. Click here for more.

  • Virtual Parenting Support Series

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    Virtual presentations scheduled for parents of middle/high school and preschool age children.

    The MIYFS and Parent Edge are continuing their Virtual Parenting Support Series with new two presentations next week:

    • December 8 at 7PM for parents of middle and high school youth
      • Featuring YFS Counselors Harry Brown and Chris Harnish
      • An opportunity for parents to gather tips to help support your tween/teen during this challenging time and ask questions.
    • December 9 at 7PM for parents of preschool age children
      • Featuring Clinical Psychologist Dr. Ziv Bell, Melissa Benoroya, and a pediatrician.
      • Gather tips on how to support your child through remote schooling and isolation from peers, friends, and family.

    To register visit http://miparentedge.org/ or for more information and resources visit http://www.miyfs.org/ In November, MIYFS and Parent Edge hosted a virtual presentation for elementary aged children. Click here to watch the recording.

  • Video: A Conversation About Supporting Our Kids' Mental Health

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    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:


    Follow this link for presentation slides.

    Gather mental health tips for your family to help reduce and/or better manage anxiety, stress, and depression.

    • Ask questions that are on your mind.
    • Connect with other parents of elementary kids.

    This program is designed for parents of elementary students. Additional programs are being planned for parents of preschool, middle and high school students. Stay tuned!


    Mercer Island School District has neither reviewed nor approved the program, personnel, activities or organizations announced in this flyer. The participants agree to protect, indemnify, and hold harmless the district, its elected and appointed officials, employees, agents, staff and volunteers, from any and all claims, liabilities, damages, expenses, or rights of action, directly or indirectly attributed to the activities. Permission to distribute this flyer should not be considered a recommendation of the program by the school district. This is not a school district sponsored activity. Parent Edge is an organization within the Mercer Island PTA Council.

  • Safer Gatherings

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    This time of year, families and friends will be making choices about whether or not to gather for celebrations, game days, or other seasonal events.

    Gathering in groups - even with people we know - may spread COVID-19. The more people we interact with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the risk of becoming infected.

    The safest action, especially if you’re in a high-risk category, is to avoid gatherings and find different ways to celebrate. On Sunday, November 15 Governor Jay Inslee announced tighter COVID-19 restrictions, including stricter guidance on in-home gatherings. The new guidance is included below.

    The Washington DOH and the CDC have plenty of ideas for how to have a safe holiday season, even if that means gathering virtually.

    Celebrations During COVID

    This year, our game days, family gatherings and holidays will be a little different. And that’s hard. But there are lots of ways to be a little more together, even when we’re apart. Click here for more.

    If You Gather: A Safety Checklist

    If you decide to gather, there’s always a risk of spreading COVID-19 infection. Help lessen this risk through pre-planning, conversations and some trade-offs.

    On Sunday, November 15, Governor Jay Inslee instituted new restrictions on social gatherings, including:

    • Indoor gatherings with people outside the household will be prohibited unless participants:
      • Quarantine for fourteen days (14) prior to the social gathering; or
      • 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.

    Before you gather

    • Have “the conversation.” Get really clear with friends and family about how you will make safety a priority when spending time together. Set some ground rules that will help everyone know what to expect. View a sample conversation guide.
    • Review your guest list. Are there people who may be in a high risk category or children? Think about special needs and precautions as part of your planning.
    • Check your space and gather outside if possible. Is there room to spread out, at least 6 feet (2m) from people you don’t live with? If no, is there an outdoor space, like a park where you could meet? If outside, will there be restrooms people can use? If inside, be sure your space is well ventilated by opening windows. Remind guests to wear warm clothes!
    • Right-size your guest list. Limit the number of guests based on the number allowed in your county per the Safe Start Plan, and the outdoor or indoor space available that allows you to be 6-feet apart.
    • Do a health check. Ask if anyone has had symptoms such as cough, fever or shortness of breath, in the last 2 weeks. Ask guests to check their temperature before arriving. Anyone with a fever—or who has had other symptoms, or knows they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the last two weeks—should stay home.
    • Consider the children. Kids have trouble playing 6 feet apart, so wearing masks and frequent hand-washing may be the safest plan of action. Remember: kids under 2 should never wear masks!
    • Make a food plan. Talk through details like how food will be shared. The safest option is to have everyone bring their own food. If sharing, separate food ahead of time into individual servings and forgo communal bowls and utensils. Find more tips about food prep in the FAQs.
    • Clean, clean, clean. If you’re hosting, frequently disinfect surfaces that people may encounter during their visit.
    • Consider pre-event quarantine. Can all participants (including yourself) self-quarantine for 14 days before the gathering?
    • Get tested. If you have been around many other people or do not regularly wear a mask, get a COVID-19 test to make sure you're negative. Take into account that it can take a few days to receive test results. If you test negative, you still need to wear a mask and keep your distance from others when you socialize.

    While you gather

    • Wash early and often. Ask adults and kids to wash hands on arrival, before and after eating, and before they leave with soap for at least 20 seconds. If there is no access to a sink, provide hand sanitizer.
    • Gather outdoors if at all possible. If indoors, open windows to increase ventilation.
    • Mask up. Wear a face covering at all times when not eating. Consider having extra masks on hand if people forget.
    • Separate servings. Avoid communal food and sharing utensils, even with babies and young children. Don’t share drinks.
      • Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.
      • Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils.
    • Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen.
    • Avoid close contact. Smiles and air hugs only, and prepare kids ahead of time to do the same.

    After you gather

    • Wash hands (again).Wash for 20 seconds with soap and water.
    • Sanitize. Clean all surfaces that may have been touched by guests such as tabletops, counters, doorknobs and bathroom fixtures, with soap and water first, and then a disinfecting agent.
    • Watch for symptoms. Alert others at the gathering if there’s a positive test among anyone in attendance. Learn more about what to do if you’ve been exposed.

    Travel Safely

    On Friday, November 13, Governor Jay Inslee issued a travel advisory for Washingtonians, recommending a 14-day quarantine for interstate and international travel and asks residents to stay close to home.

    • Stay home if at all possible.
    • Persons arriving in Washington from other states or countries, including returning Washington residents, should practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.
      • These persons should limit their interactions to their immediate household.
      • This recommendation does not apply to individuals who cross state or country borders for essential travel.

    Host a Virtual Gathering

    • Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you.
    • Schedule a time to share a meal together virtually.
    • Have people share recipes and show their turkey, dressing, or other dishes they prepared.
    • Watch television and play games with people in your household.
    • Watch Thanksgiving Day parades, sports, and movies at home.
    • Find a fun game to play.
  • Flu Vaccine Now Available for Uninsured Adults at No Cost

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    Twenty-three Albertsons and Safeway pharmacies across the state will offer flu vaccine free of charge through June 2021 to uninsured adults.

    The WA Department of Health is collaborating with Safeway Inc. and Albertsons Companies LLC to offer no-cost influenza (flu) vaccination for uninsured adults over the age of 18 to help prevent flu illness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Nearby participating locations include:

    Safeway Pharmacy (Store #1294)
    210 Washington Ave S
    Kent, WA 98032
    (253) 852-5115

    Safeway Pharmacy (Store #1563)
    200 S 3rd Street
    Renton, WA 98057
    (425) 226-0325

    Safeway Pharmacy (Store #1508)
    3820 Rainier Avenue South
    Seattle, WA 98118
    (206) 725-9887

    Find the full list of participating locations on the department’s website. Many King County clinics, including Community Health Centers and some Public Health Centers, also vaccinate uninsured and underinsured individuals if they enroll as patients.

    The Safeway and Albertsons pharmacies will not charge an administration fee, and no proof of residency or immigration status will be required.

    Adults who have insurance should also get vaccinated now.

    Click here for Mercer Island pharmacy locations and hours. The flu vaccine for those age 19 and older is covered by most insurance companies and by Medicare and Apple Health (Medicaid) and Washington provides flu vaccine, and all recommended vaccines, at no cost to everyone under the age of 19.

    Why get the flu vaccine? Everyone 6 months and older needs a new flu vaccine every year. Young children, pregnant women, people with underlying health conditions, and those aged 65 and older are at high risk of complications from flu illness. Flu is a highly contagious disease that can cause mild to severe illness, can lead to hospitalization, and can even be fatal – even in healthy young adults. Getting a flu vaccine reduces your chances of getting the flu but does not prevent other respiratory infections.

    For help finding a health care provider or vaccine location, and to learn more about flu, visit www.KnockOutFlu.org

  • MI Thrift Shop Resumes Donations Collection (with Process Changes)

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    Clean out those closets!

    Beginning October 31, the City’s Thrift Shop will resume accepting donations by temporarily relocating all donation center operations to the Mercer Island Community and Event Center (8236 SE 24th Street). This will allow more space for processing and the ability to quarantine all donated items. Initially, donation hours will be on Saturdays only, from 10:00am-3:00pm (not open on November 28 and December 26.

    Here’s What To Expect

    This process is new and during COVID-19, we are asking for your patience and understanding as we provide a way to donate your household items in a manner that is safe for our donors, volunteers, and staff. Cars will line up and proceed up the parking lot hill at the Community Center to the building’s main entrance, where bins will be stationed to collect donations. (On October 31, a separate lane will be established for voters dropping off ballots in the King County Ballot Box.) Please review the Accepted Donations list here as changes have been made.

    • Drivers should follow each sign directing parking lot traffic at the Community Center and wait inside their vehicle.
    • To promote physical distancing, unloading will be permitted one vehicle at a time. Please wait for your turn as staff beckon the next vehicle in line to come forward and unload your items.
    • Properly fitted masks are required to be worn on site as you unload your items.
    • The curbside at the front of the community center will be organized with donation carts under a large tent. Each cart will be labeled with different categories for you to distribute your items. All items must fit and be placed inside one of the carts provided. Due to COVID-19 protocols, staff and volunteers cannot handle your items until they have been quarantined and sanitized.
    • Donation receipts will be available electronically. To retrieve your receipt, open the camera of your smartphone to scan the QR code, or print one yourself from the Thrift Shop website.
    • Exit the parking lot following the signs.

    Tips For An Efficient Experience

    To help everyone get through the dropoff line in an efficient manner, please consider organizing your donations ahead of time. Note that furniture, bikes, and large appliances are NOT accepted at this time, nor are large truckloads of miscellaneous items. Here is a list of donation cart categories in which you’ll be asked to separate your items:

    • Clothing
    • Shoes
    • Accessories
    • Books, DVD’s & CD’s
    • Glassware & fragile items
    • Home décor
    • Jewelry
    • All other hard goods

    For a full list of accepted items visit the Thrift Shop website here.

Page last updated: 03 September 2021, 16:26