Oakland County Executive, Mayors and Supervisors Video Encourages Residents to Continue COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

A host of government leaders from Oakland County are featured in a new video urging residents to continue practicing COVID-19 safety protocols as the best way to beat the dangerous virus.

The leaders from 10 communities joined County Executive Dave Coulter in the video reinforcing the county’s “The Only Way to Beat It is to Face It” public education campaign, reminding residents not to get too comfortable or forget the dangers that come with the virus. The campaign will feature public service announcements on radio, television, social media and print.

“Let’s beat this virus and we can — if we do it together,” Coulter said.

Leaders including Ferndale Mayor Melanie Piana, Novi Mayor Bob Gatt, Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett, Pontiac Mayor Deirdre Waterman, Royal Oak Township Supervisor Donna Squalls, Southfield Mayor Ken Siver, and West Bloomfield Supervisor Steve Kaplan implore residents to continue to wash their hands regularly, wear a protective face mask and practice social distancing as common sense ways to defeat the virus.

They encourage residents to shop locally, use curbside pickup or grocery delivery services where possible and consider virtual gatherings instead of face-to-face for the holidays.

“You know we’ll get back to normal,” said Squalls, her sentiments echoed by Royal Oak Mayor Michael Fournier and Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett.

“Someday,” Siver said.

“But not yet,” Coulter said slowly, emphasizing every word. Several others echo his comments, with the clear message being that although many residents have grown weary of the pandemic, the fight is not over.

Earlier this month the county launched its public education campaign with former Detroit Lion Lomas Brown among other local celebrities who are joining the campaign include former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty and Olympic figure skating champion Meryl White.

The campaign received a significant boost this week from Hollywood actress and Huntington Woods native Kristen Bell as she added her talents – and her 15 million Instagram followers – to encourage residents to remain vigilant about following health and safety measures to help control the spread of COVID-19 as they wait for a vaccination.

“By wearing a mask, you can decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission! We can beat this virus if we face it together,” Bell said.

“The Only Way to Beat It Is to Face It” is funded by a federal CARES Act grant. The initiative’s name reinforces the practicality of wearing a mask to protect yourself and others, acknowledge the dangers that we face in the coming weeks and highlight the necessity of embracing public health measures to help eventually overcome the pandemic.

“None of us expected to be here nine months ago,” Coulter said. “We are in the middle of the second wave of a terrible pandemic. And while there is hope on the horizon in the form of a vaccine, it is only our actions that keep us safe, slow the spread of the virus, protect our health care workers and keep people alive.”