New Statewide Bans and City Closures/Cancellations Due to COVID-19
Mar 16, 2020 - Today, Governor Inslee announced further statewide measures designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. His new order builds on previous proclamations, and mandates the immediate two-week closure of all restaurants, bars, and entertainment and recreational facilities. The ban does not apply to other retail (such as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks) which may remain open with appropriate prevention measures. The ban also does not limit take-out meals, food delivery, and drive-thru food/beverage services - please support your favorite local restaurants.
Today’s ban also now prohibits all events and gatherings of more than 50 people; events of less than 50 people can only be held if specific criteria for public health and social distancing are met.
The new orders go into effect at midnight tonight (March 16) and will be in place through March 31; at this time public transit and airports are not limited.
The City of Mercer Island has been preparing for this development and as a result has initiated further closures of its facilities. Effective at 5:00pm today, all operations at the City’s Thrift Shop, including both retail sales and donations, are suspended through April 24.
All City meetings are canceled through April 24 (except City Council Meetings, tbd).
Both City Hall and the Municipal Court were already closed last week through April 24. All City-coordinated programs and events at the Community and Event Center (MICEC), and in parks, are also suspended until April 24. Parks, trails, playgrounds, and park restrooms remain open as a public service.
The Police and Fire Departments will continue to provide full service; note that first responders may arrive in full protective equipment as a precaution even though the patient may not display any flu-like symptoms. The Police Lobby remains open to the public for emergency services.
Check the City's coronavirus webpage for a closure summary.
How You Can Help Slow the Spread of the Coronavirus:
This situation is changing frequently - please check and subscribe to Public Health's website (www.kingcounty.gov/COVID) or blog (www.publichealthinsider.com).
- Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first.
- Stay home and self-quarantine when sick.
- Practice excellent personal hygiene habits, including handwashing, coughing into tissue or elbow, avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth; do not shake hands.
- 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.
Help for the Community:
The City’s Youth and Family Services (MIYFS) Department is requesting gift card donations ($25 or $50 amounts for grocery stores) to distribute via its Food Pantry for local families in need. These can be dropped off in the City Hall lobby Monday-Friday or mailed to City Hall (9611 SE 36th Street).
Help for Local Business:
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is now offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Washington State small businesses suffering economically as a result of the coronavirus. Please apply online, call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955, or email email@example.com
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 - Seattle & King County is the official authority tracking new coronavirus cases; it 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.