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Hi there,

With the announcement of Governor Inslee's stay-at-home order on Monday evening, we've entered a new phase and a temporary way of life, aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus in our area.

The proclamation requires all Washingtonians to stay at home, except to conduct essential activities, such as to shop for groceries, visit the doctor, or do work deemed essential.

On Mercer Island, the streets have become even more quiet and will be quieter still tomorrow, when the order goes into full effect for local non-essential businesses, ordered to shut down within 48 hours of the proclamation.

The City of Mercer Island issued a follow-up announcement elaborating that essential businesses "allowed to stay open (with appropriate protective measures) include emergency services, childcare, supermarkets, pharmacies, groceries, food pantries, transportation, financial services, and local government."

Additionally, the City noted that the order "does not limit take-out meals, food delivery, and drive-thru food/beverage services – please continue to support your favorite local restaurants."

It's okay to go on a walk or a bike ride, providing for at least 6 feet of social distancing with others, and I hope you have been out in one way or another to enjoy the beautiful spring weather.

That was a long introduction for this newsletter, but these are extraordinary times. Below, I've gathered information, links, and resources specific to our community in regard to the coronavirus, and I hope you will find this helpful:
Support
  • 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 anytime, day or night. 
     
  • The City is sharing information about support and assistance available for vulnerable populations and Mercer Island businesses on a Coronavirus Community Assistance website page.
     
  • The Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce has also published links to COVID-19 Guidance and Resources for Mercer Island Businesses on its website.  
     
  • See information about childcare and lunches available for youth – under the "Mercer Island School District" heading below.
     
  • Seniors or at-risk individuals can get assistance with errands and grocery shopping from local volunteers by emailing MercerIslandVolunteers@gmail.com.

News

  • There are two confirmed cases of coronavirus on Mercer Island, though it's important to note that Public Health only alerts the city to confirmed cases at senior-living facilities, not any other cases. The city stated there are likely other cases on Mercer Island, but was only aware of the two, as of March 20th. (Mercer Island Reporter / City of Mercer Island)
     
  • The Mercer Island Youth & Family Services (MIYFS) Food Pantry is now providing gift cards to those in need (physical groceries no longer offered);  MIYFS counseling is now offered by phone with plans for video conferencing underway. (Mercer Island Reporter)
     
  • "Dozens volunteer to help Mercer Island seniors during coronavirus" – Mercer Island Patch
     
  • "How are Island senior facilities responding to coronavirus?" – Mercer Island Reporter
     
  • "KCLS pivots to digital during coronavirus pandemic" – Mercer Island Reporter
City of Mercer Island
  • Mercer Island Police Chief Ed Holmes shared a letter to community members on the local law enforcement's role in regard to the stay-at-home order.
     
  • The City Manager Jessi Bon is now providing live video conferences – every Thursday at 3 pm – as part of an ongoing series about the City's coronavirus response and ongoing preparations. (Videos of previous briefings are available.)
     
  • In this week's video conference, City Manager Jessi Bon will be joined by Dr. Hal Quinn, a board-certified physician practicing at Mercer Island Pediatrics. Dr. Quinn will share his observations about the regional COVID-19 outbreak and suggest appropriate measures for parents and the community to consider during this unprecedented time. The conference will also include the City’s response to the stay-at-home order and impacts to city operations, updates from the city's police and fire departments, and a Community Call to Action: what you can do to help.
     
  • Information and ongoing updates in regard to the coronavirus are available on the City's website at letstalk.mercergov.org/coronavirus.
Mercer Island School District
  • Here's the latest update from the Mercer Island School District on its Coronavirus/COVID-19 resources page (published March 24th). Check back for future updates at www.mercerislandschools.org/coronavirus.
     
  • The Mercer Island School District is providing free child care to first responders and health care workers for kids in Kindergarten through 5th grade. The service is intended as a last resort, according to the District.
     
  • The District is also offering free meals during the school closure. The lunches are available to all children ages 1 to 18, regardless of whether they are a student in the school district. 
Consider donating protective supplies
  • Local clinics and medical centers are facing critical shortages of personal protective equipment, including disposable face masks, exam and surgical gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and more. Please consider donating if you have any supplies you can spare.  Here's more info and a list of donation sites. 
Food, shopping & supporting local businesses Community Links As a closing note, I've done my best to include as much accurate and helpful information here as possible, though there are many changes day to day, with news and updates unfolding hourly. Please feel free to reach out if I've missed something.  

Lastly and most importantly, thank you to the first responders and health care workers who are on the front lines of battling the coronavirus and caring for and treating patients. Thank you to city staff and civil servants, grocery store workers, sanitation workers, delivery drivers, emergency and safety personnel, journalists and communicators, and everyone who is working to keep us safe and serve our essential needs.  

Take care,

Erin

Editor, My Mercer Island
Broker and Co-Founder, The Sirianni Group
Windermere Real Estate – Mercer Island
206-992-5272
Did someone forward this newsletter issue to you? Click here so you can subscribe or email me at erin@mymercerisland.com, and I would be happy to add you to our list.
Copyright © 2020 My Mercer Island / The Sirianni Group, All rights reserved.


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