Coronavirus Contingency Planning
Mar 9, 2020 – As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to spread to more patients in the region, the City of Mercer Island has announced additional steps today to reduce potential exposure and prevent transmission. At this time (March 9), there is no known case of confirmed COVID-19 on Mercer Island. Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) is the local authority in these matters and the City follows all PHSKC updates and recommendations.
Effective immediately, all City-coordinated programs and events at the Community and Event Center (8236 SE 24th Street), and in parks, are suspended until April 12. The building will implement skeleton staffing and common areas will be closed to the public. Questions about private events and rentals should be directed to support staff at 206-275-7609. Parks, playgrounds, trails, and park restrooms all remain open at this time.
In preparation for an extended coronavirus outbreak many other contingency measures are in place to ensure public safety and critical services can be maintained. To the extent possible, the public is encouraged to conduct business with the City online or by telephone.
The City is also providing guidance to many community organizations, and information to businesses, 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 communicate by news release, website, social media, and on-site posters.
- Fire Department personnel are already on shifts and wearing the appropriate level of protective equipment for all aid and transport calls
- The regional police and fire dispatch center is screening all callers for potential illness
- Police Department staff who are currently assigned to other duties (e.g. Detectives) are prepared to fill in for frontlines patrol officers, and all officers are supplied with protective equipment
- Most non-essential Police services are curtailed, and some reports are now filed by telephone when practical
- The City’s Thrift Shop staff is sanitizing hi-touch surfaces on an hourly basis; all volunteer programs are suspended
- The City’s Youth and Family Services Department is migrating to teleconference options and will be minimizing personal contact at the Food Pantry
- Most business within the Community Planning and Development Department is now conducted by phone or web teleconference, including FaceTime videocalls
- The City is in close contact with assisted-living and retirement facilities on the Island
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
- Read Public Health’s FAQ page
- 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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