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.

  • You Have A Mask But Are You Wearing It Properly?

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    Getting a mask was half the battle, now we need to make sure we're wearing them properly.

    We've all seen it. Someone is out in public, they have their mask on, but not "on." The mask covers their mouth but not their nose, is pushed down under their chin, or has gapping issues (gaposis central)! Here are a few tips to help make sure we're all wearing our masks for the best possible protection.

    • Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
    • Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
    • Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
    • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
    • To remove the mask: remove it from behind – do not touch the front of mask; discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

    Remember, even with a mask, make sure to maintain a distance of 6-feet from others.

    As of May 18, King County residents have been directed to wear face coverings in public when social distancing is not possible. In June, Governor Inslee followed suit, issuing a statewide directive requiring all Washingtonians to wear face coverings in most public settings. That order went into effect on June 26.

    Face Covering Exemptions: Some people (and children) may not be able to wear face coverings due to health and safety reasons. For more information about exemptions, visit this information page.


  • Credit Score Protections During The Pandemic

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    A new federal protection that applies to how insurance companies use a consumer’s credit history.

    The federal CARES Act amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act and protects consumers during the coronavirus pandemic from any negative credit reporting as long as their accounts were in good standing before the pandemic started.

    This protection also applies to how insurers use credit history to calculate how much consumers pay for auto and homeowners insurance.

    The CARES Act:

    • Prohibits a creditor from reporting an individual’s delinquent payments to a credit reporting agency if the individual was up-to-date on their payments before the pandemic started.
    • If asked, a creditor may also allow an individual to defer one or more payments, make a partial payment, or modify a loan or contract.

    The 120-day duration of the moratorium took effect March 27. It is likely to be extended until the federal administration declares an end to the current national emergency.

    “The initial focus of the act was on stimulus payments, but it’s also important to alert people to new protections regarding credit scoring,” said WA Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “Millions of people have lost their jobs and are likely struggling to pay their bills during this pandemic. It’s critical that we do what we can to make sure they’re not further harmed during these financially devastating times.”

  • Extended! Summer Meals and Resources for Families in Need

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    MIYFS Food Pantry

    Open Wednesdays, 10:00am - 3:00pm, at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center, for eligible Island residents only. Click here for more info.

    MIYFS Emergency Assistance Program

    If you are a resident facing food-insecurity or significant financial hardship, please contact Emergency Assistance Coordinator, Cheryl Manriquez, at Cheryl.Manriquez@mercergov.org

    King County Map of Free Food Resources

    Public Health – Seattle & King County and the City of Seattle recently released a map of free food resources, which will be updated weekly. This new tool includes information about resources across King County in order to provide emergency food during COVID-19. At the top of the map, use the drop down menu to filter options based on operational status. Select to highlight the type of food resource (food bank, food bank & meal, meal, and student to-go meals) using the colored legend. Hover over a resource to learn more about the services offered at that location.

    Healthcare and Food Security Learning Network

    The King County Healthcare and Food Security Learning Network is an existing coalition of healthcare providers, retailers, advocates, food distributors, educators, service navigators, program managers, and funders working together to increase food security. The map can be used to find food resources as well as support your local food organizations by donating and volunteering.

    USDA Extends Free Meals for Kids Through December 31, 2020

    On August 31, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will extend several flexibilities through as late as December 31, 2020. The flexibilities allow summer meal program operators to continue serving free meals to all children into the fall months. This unprecedented move will help ensure – no matter what the situation is on-the-ground – children have access to nutritious food as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. USDA has been and continues to be committed to using the Congressionally appropriated funding that has been made available.

    To date, USDA has provided more than 3,000 flexibilities across these programs. USDA has also leveraged new and innovative approaches to feeding kids, including a public-private partnership that provided nearly 40 million meals directly to the doorsteps of low-income rural children. For more information on FNS’ response to COVID-19, visit fns.usda.gov/coronavirus.

    Information on the Pandemic Emergency School Meals Program (P-EBT)

    Families with children who are eligible and approved by their school district for free or reduced-price meals and who do not currently get Basic Food benefits, must apply online at washingtonconnection.org for P-EBT before August 31 or the start of the 2020-2021 school year—whichever is later. The information is available in Español | 漢語 | ភាសាខ្មែរ | 한국어 | ລາວ | русский | Af-Soomaali | Tiếng Việt.

    Summer free meal sites for youth

  • Register to Volunteer During Disasters and Significant Events

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    Interested in volunteering during disasters and significant events like COVID-19?

    Register with the Washington State Emergency Registry of Volunteers (WAserv) to partner with public health and others who need assistance in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Celebrating Fall with Local Farms

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    Time to get out and enjoy Fall with local farms!

    Local farms offer a wide variety of seasonal produce, fresh-cut flowers, cider, pumpkins, and more. Help support local farmers, hit especially hard by the pandemic, by visiting a farm and buying local. Not sure where to find an open farm? Look no further! Visit the Local Food Finder page or a special pumpkin patch page.

    It goes without saying... don't forget your face mask and make sure you are socially distancing while you tromp through rows of pumpkins!

    Looking for information about Halloween? Check out tips and guidance from King County Public Health and the CDC.

  • Tech 101 Tutorial for Homebound Seniors

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    Mercer Island High School Junior, Annika Bhananker developed a tutorial video, Tech 101 to help homebound seniors connect with loved ones while social distancing. Click here to view the video.

    The tutorial session helps isolated members of the Mercer Island community by providing tips and information on how to use technology to stay connected with family and friends while staying safe at home. The Tech 101 tutorial features a section on troubleshooting WiFi issues, how to use Zoom for video meetings, and more.

    If you have questions or need further assistance you can contact Annika at: basictechnologyhelp@gmail.com.

    Thank you, Annika, for putting together this helpful tutorial!

  • Virtual Block Watch

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    Neighbors watching out for neighbors is one of the best tools we can employ in the fight against crime.

    Residents are our best partners in crime prevention because they are the ones who are familiar with their neighborhoods and can often times spot an out-of-place person, vehicle or activity. However, this looks a little different in the era of COVID-19, so we’re working on a Virtual Block Watch program.

    The program launches Monday, May 11 with a program facilitated over Zoom by a police detective and a police officer and time for Q & A at the end. Contact Officer Jennifer Franklin (206-275-7905) to sign up your neighborhood.

    Also check out our Crime Prevention Booklet or more tips and information.

  • Mercer Island Library Curbside To Go

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    King County Library System is now offering curbside pick-up and returns!

    Mercer Island Library is one of several KCLS locations offering curbside to go options. Library patrons can return and pick up library materials in a safe, contact-free manner. Arrive by car, on foot, by bike and with or without an appointment!

    Mercer Island Library Hours

    • Tuesday-Wednesday 1pm-7:30pm
    • Thursday-Saturday 10am-4:30pm
    • Call (206) 236-3537

    Curbside to Go

    1. Make an appointment on the myLIBRO mobile app or call the library in advance to set the appointment for you. Learn how to schedule Curbside to GO holds pickup in the myLIBRO app. Download the app. (iOS, Android)

    2. Call the phone number on signs outside when you arrive at the library. Each library has a different phone number. Staff will book the earliest open appointment.

    3. Walk up without making a phone call to receive the earliest open appointment. Wait times may vary. The first open hour is the busiest hour. The last available pickup slot is 15 minutes before closing.

    How to Pick up Your Holds

    Patrons will get an email notification when your holds are ready. After receiving the email, go to the library for curbside pickup. Staff will place holds to pick up and go at the front entrance. Follow the instructions on the signs posted outside the library.

    Return Items

    Return all items through the manual book drop. (Returns may not be handed to staff in-person or through Self Check-In.)

    Returned items will be quarantined – and remain on your account – for a minimum of 3 days before being checked in. KCLS is not charging overdue fines right now, but all due dates and renewal limits still apply. Any fines or fees accrued during this time will be waived.

    Library patrons can also stop by to pick up a surprise bag of five book titles at any Curbside to Go location.

    For more information, visit the KCLS curbside information page.

  • Meds Take-Back Event by Mail

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    Every year, the City holds two very popular Meds Take-Back events in the spring and fall. With the coronavirus epidemic underway, these events have been cancelled nationwide, but the City's Healthy Youth Initiative is providing residents with alternative ways to participate without even leaving the home.

    All residents can request to have a mail-back envelope sent to their home to dispose of unwanted medications. Each envelope is 8 by 11 inches and holds up to 8 ounces of unwanted medicines. Simply place the unwanted medications in the pre-paid envelope and then place it directly in your mailbox for collection. There is no cost to residents to use this service. To request your envelope visit this Meds Take Back webpage.

    To further ensure the safety of our youth, the Healthy Youth Initiative also offers a lockbox option at no cost during the month of April. Each lockbox is hard sided and measures 7 x 5 x 5 inches. To request a lockbox, please Email rachel.montgomery@mercergov.org and it will be mailed to your residence.

    In these challenging times, every Mercer Island resident can be active in preventing prescription misuse and protecting the youth in our community.

  • Disaster Cash Assistance Program

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    Disaster Cash Assistance Program

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the Disaster Cash Assistance Program or DCAP?

    The Department of Social and Health Services is activating the Disaster Cash Assistance Program, or DCAP, beginning April 17, 2020. This program is intended to help some Washingtonians meet their basic needs during the state of emergency caused by COVID-19 state of emergency.

    Why is this happening?

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Inslee declared a state of emergency for all counties in Washington state. This allows DSHS to issue benefits under the Disaster Cash Assistance Program to families and individuals who wouldn’t normally be eligible for cash benefits.

    How do I apply?

    This program requires an interview via telephone. Households can apply by: 

    • Applying online at WashingtonConnection.org and then calling the Customer Service Contact Center at 877-501-2233 to complete the required interview. 
    • Calling 877-501-2233 to complete the whole application process. 
    • Please be aware that the Customer Service Contact Center is experiencing very high call volumes and you may have a long wait time. The best time to call is before 11 a.m. The busiest time to call is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. We can determine your eligibility for all of our programs in one interview.

    How often can I get this help?

    This program is available to households for only one month in a 12-month period during a state of emergency.

    How long will this program be available?

    This is a temporary program and will end when the state of emergency ends, or sooner.

    Can I receive a DCAP cash benefit even if I don’t have kids living with me?

    Yes.

    Can I get DCAP and other cash programs at the same time?

    No. DCAP is a one-time cash program for households that don’t qualify for other DSHS cash programs.

    What is the income limit for this program?

    The net income limit (after deductions) for all income expected in the month of application is based on your household size. See chart below:

    Is there a resource limit for this program?

    During the current emergency, up to $6,000 of your available resources are exempt. Equity up to $10,000 in a vehicle is also exempt.

    What information do I need for my interview?

    During the interview, we will discuss all income you expect for the month, your available resources and the expenses you need help with.

    What type of expenses can I get help with?

    DCAP covers the following types of needs: Shelter costs, utilities, clothing, minor medical care, household supplies and transportation costs for work. DCAP can also help with food, only if you aren’t eligible for ongoing food benefits.

    What is the maximum DCAP benefit amount?

    The benefit amount depends on your household size, income and need. The maximum benefit is listed below:

    How do I receive the benefits?

    If you are approved for DCAP, your benefits will be issued to your Electronic Benefit Transfer, or EBT, card. If you do not have one, we will provide you a card. Your card will be sent to you in the mail, unless you have a general delivery address.

    Do I need to be a citizen? What if I do not have a Social Security number?

    You are not required to be a U.S. citizen or to have certain alien status to receive DCAP. Any DCAP payment is excluded from the public charge test. You also are not required to provide a Social Security number to receive DCAP.

    For a printable PDF of this document, click here.

Page last updated: 03 September 2021, 16:26