Coronavirus Community Assistance
Mar 20, 2020 – Following guidance from Public Health - Seattle & King County (PHSKC) concerning the coronavirus outbreak, the City of Mercer Island is continuing to modify services while keeping all major facilities closed to the public. The majority of staff are now telecommuting or working modified schedules to minimize potential exposure.
The City’s top operational priority is to maintain essential government functions by:
• Ensuring continuity of police and fire operations
• Keeping the roads open and safe
• Maintaining our utilities and the associated infrastructure
• Ensuring the City has the resources needed to sustain a prolonged incident response
• Supporting staff and ensuring a healthy and safe workforce.
Public Health (PHSKC) expects the number of cases to grow as more people in the region are tested for the virus. At this time, the City is only aware of two confirmed cases on Mercer Island, but there are likely others. It is important to note that Public Health only alerts the City to confirmed cases at senior-living facilities, NOT any other cases. People with symptoms of COVID-19 are being directed to self-quarantine by their healthcare providers. Public Health has recommendations for what to do if you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19, or are worried that you may have COVID-19.
Given the expected duration of the coronavirus response, the City is pursuing a number of other proactive actions that will help the many community members affected by school, workplace, and business closures. Find more resources on the City’s updated coronavirus webpage. The City will continue to provide updates as new information emerges, including via a weekly live video conference, broadcast every Thursday at 3:00pm, and available on its YouTube Channel.
Assistance for Vulnerable Populations
Any resident in need of family or financial emergency assistance should contact Cheryl Manriquez, the City’s Emergency Assistance Coordinator by email at Cheryl.Manriquez@mercergov.org, or call 2-1-1 any time, day or night. The 211 service is a free, confidential, referral and information helpline that connects people of all ages nationwide to the local health and human services they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For confidential counseling, please call the City's Youth and Family Services Intake Line at 206-275-7657 and your call will be returned within one business day.
All Island supermarkets have launched Senior Shopping hours: 8:00-9:00am (Monday to Friday) at New Season Market; and 7:00-8:00am (Tuesday and Thursday) at both QFC’s. Thanks to the rest of the community in advance for their understanding and voluntary compliance; other at-risk and immune-compromised individuals are welcome to use these hours. Please call each supermarket with questions.
If you have a personal relationship with a neighbor who falls into a high-risk or vulnerable population category, consider reaching out to see if they need help, while maintaining suitable protections. The City is working with regional groups, such as the Red Cross, to help our seniors and vulnerable populations.
Assistance for Mercer Island Businesses
The City is working closely with the MI Chamber of Commerce to provide information to help businesses weather the decline in business. Visit this link to view a summary of restaurants open for take-out service. The City is also working on other programs to support Mercer Island business owners financially and logistically, and has designated a City liaison for this purpose (Sarah Bluvas, at firstname.lastname@example.org).
How to Stay Informed
- Subscribe to Public Health's daily newsfeed (see link here)
- Call the King County Coronavirus Hotline at 206-477-3977 with questions
- Visit the City’s updated coronavirus webpage