Local Resources for Coronavirus Information and Updates

April 1, 2020 | by Erin Sirianni

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Here’s a list of local resources and links for information and updates in regard to coronavirus / COVID-19.

Public Health Information

City of Mercer Island

  • The City of Mercer Island’s webpage dedicated to local coronavirus news and updates is located at www.mercergov.org/coronavirus.
  • Quick links include: Situation Reports | City Manager Video Briefings | Press Releases | Emergency Assistance | Resources for Businesses | Youth & Family Services Community Resources
  • The City has launched a new call center for questions regarding the Mercer Island coronavirus response and plans for the future. The hotline number is 206-275-7626 or you can email [email protected]. (MI Weekly)
  • The City Manager Jessi Bon provides 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.)
  • Mercer Island Police Chief Ed Holmes’ letter to community members on the local law enforcement’s role in regard to the stay-at-home order.
  • Any resident in need of family or financial emergency assistance should contact Cheryl Manriquez, the City’s Emergency Assistance Coordinator by email at [email protected] or call 2-1-1 anytime, day or night. 

Mercer Island School District

Support for Local Businesses & Organizations

  • The Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce has also published links to COVID-19 Guidance and Resources for Mercer Island Businesses on its website at mercerislandchamberofcommerce.org.
  • Are you an artist or arts & culture organization that has been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak? Or a Mercer Island community member interested in donating to the arts sector during this time? The City has provided this list of relief resources compiled by the Mercer Island Arts Council. 

Food & Shopping

  • Mercer Island grocery stores are now offering special shopping hours for the high-risk community, including senior, pregnant, and immuno-compromised individuals.  
  • New Seasons Market has also instituted temporary capacity limits to provide for extra space and healthy social distancing between customers.  (New Seasons Market website)
  • The Chamber of Commerce and the City of Mercer Island have recently launched a #TakeOutTuesday campaign to support local restaurants.
  • Here’s a list of local restaurants offering delivery and take-out. (Let’s Talk Mercer Island)
  • Here’s a list of local fitness studios and health clubs offering online fitness instruction.
  • Check with your favorite local businesses to find out about online offerings.  Island Books, Terra Bella, and Mercer Island Florist, for example, are still filling online orders.  

Home & Real Estate

  • Mortgage assistance and foreclosure prevention information – Washington State Department of Financial Institutions
  • “How to talk to your landlord about rent if coronavirus closures have affected your paycheck” – The Seattle Times
  • “Property tax deadline extended to June” – Mercer Island Reporter
  • Modified operations at the City of Mercer Island’s Community Planning and Development Department, including information about local permitting and construction during the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order
  • Information for Home Buyers and Sellers in regard to the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Order – Northwest Multiple Listing Service and Washington REALTORS
  • Zillow’s Resource for Home – “How to handle buying, selling, renting — or just nesting at home” – during COVID-19
  • “A Healthy Distance – Resources to Stay Sane While You Stay Home” – a blog post from Windermere Real Estate – Mercer Island

How You Can Help

  • Donate personal protective equipment (PPE) 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.
  • Blood donors needed – Donate by making an appointment with Bloodworks Northwest.
  • One of our readers offered another way to help by participating in the UW digital cough study toward training an app to recognize coughing sounds. The app will ultimately help health organizations monitor coughs from self-quarantined COVID-19 patients.

Community Links

  • Seniors or at-risk individuals can get assistance with errands and grocery shopping from local volunteers by emailing [email protected].
  • Mercer Island High School student Avi Shiffman’s Coronavirus Tracking website – ncov2019.live.
  • “The High Schooler Who Became a COVID-19 Watchdog” – The New Yorker
  • Here’s what Mercer Island teenagers think of the coronavirus. (88.9 The Bridge)
  • “Coronavirus Diaries: I Own a Bookstore. I Don’t Know How Much Longer We Can Survive” by Laurie Swift Raisys, owner of Island Books – Slate Magazine
  • Join the Mercer Island Preschool Association in the #aworldofhearts movement – “to show love and solidarity while we’re social distancing. All you have do to participate is display hearts in a street-facing window for your neighbors to see.”
  • Islanders are also participating in a community teddy bear scavenger hunt by placing stuffed teddy bears in their windows for passers-by to see.
  • Call for kids’ artwork! – Kids and families are invited to submit artwork to be distributed at Mercer Island assisted living centers. There is a bin outside of Island Park Elementary school, and Kiernan Boike will be collecting art work through April 10th.
  • Pagliacci pays it forward – supporting peers and surprising customers with free treats and giveaways. (Seattle Met)
  • Enjoy a little Islander Spirit captured in this musical performance – courtesy MI Band Directors, as pictured in the above screen capture.

Do you have a helpful local resource or community link to add to this list? Please email me at [email protected].