Coronavirus Meeting Cancellations and Community Assistance
Mar 6, 2020 - Following updated guidance from Public Health - Seattle & King County (PHSKC) concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the City of Mercer Island has announced today that all major public meetings are canceled until at least March 20. This will help to reduce potential exposure and prevent transmission. For the continued safety of the entire community, this is the best course of action at this time. The City is closely monitoring all updates from the PHSKC and will follow all recommendations.
The City is pursuing a number of other preemptive actions that will help reduce the risk of transmission, if the virus were to appear on Mercer Island
- All City business travel has been suspended
- Staff are eliminating in-person meetings to the extent feasible
- Many staff will transition to telecommuting or shifted schedules to minimize large gatherings
- Some City services will be provided online, by phone, or web teleconference (e.g. Planning and Permitting)
- All major City facilities will be deep-cleaned by a specialized contractor
The City is also providing guidance and support to many community organizations as they navigate this unfamiliar terrain and cope with potential exposure scenarios. Find more resources on the City’s coronavirus webpage. The City will continue to provide updates as new information emerges.
“Neighbor to Neighbor” Assistance for Our Vulnerable Populations
While the City is focusing on sustaining essential functions like police and fire services, we need help from the community to care for and support our vulnerable populations. Many residents also have significant emergency preparedness training. Please think about how you can safely provide “neighbor to neighbor” support during this time. For example, if you are aware of an elderly resident concerned about leaving their home, please check in with them. You may be able to help by delivering meals or groceries, or support them in other ways. Please remember to follow Public Health guidelines for social distancing to prevent an unintentional exposure.
The City’s Youth and Family Services Department provides case management and mental health services to Island seniors and these services will continue during the outbreak.
Assistance for Mercer Island Businesses
The City is working closely with the Chamber of Commerce to provide information specific to businesses. As the virus spreads, some smaller establishments will be challenged by additional cleaning needs and/or reduced staffing due to quarantine concerns. New information will be added to the City’s coronavirus webpage as it becomes available; Public Health – Seattle & King County has published a planning guide for businesses to help minimize impacts.
How You Can Help
We cannot stress enough the importance of following standard preventative measures, including:
- If you are sick with a cough or fever, stay home
- Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue or your elbow
- Wash your hands (20 seconds) and use alcohol-based sanitizer often
- Clean your work area at least once a day; don’t forget phones, keyboards, and door handles
- Forgo the handshake for a wave or “elbow bump”
- Stay away from people who are ill, especially if you are 60 and older, or have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or a weakened immune system.
- Eat healthy, stay hydrated, and get plenty of rest
How to Stay Informed
- Subscribe to Public Health's newsfeed (see link here)
- Call the King County Coronavirus Hotline at 206-477-3977 with questions
Please remember we all need to continue to demonstrate compassion and care as we navigate this rapidly evolving global health situation. Public Health has also published recommendations for what to do if you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19, or are worried that you may have COVID-19.
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