Coulter: Health Division Extends Orders to Protect Essential Employees and Businesses to Control COVID-19 Outbreak

The Oakland County Health Division today issued an emergency order requiring essential businesses to screen all employees for illness, exposure to COVID-19 and establish a social distancing protocol for customers and employees to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus.

Oakland County Executive David Coulter made the announcement today during a remote news conference from the L. Brooks Patterson Executive Office Building in Waterford. The media was asked to either phone in or follow it live on Facebook. The order builds on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay home, stay safe” order issued Monday.

“Gov. Whitmer’s ‘Stay home, stay safe’ order is vital to stop the spread of the virus, keep people healthy, and stabilize hospitals,” Coulter said. “Our health order provides guidelines to those businesses still operating to keep their employees and the public safe.”

The order, which takes effect Wednesday at noon, requires businesses to develop and implement a daily screening program for all staff which includes questions about possible symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. It also asks whether the employee has traveled domestically or internationally in the past 14 days. The employee could be required to stay home for three to 14 days, depending on the answer.

Businesses must also develop and implement a plan to manage and control social/physical distancing (at least six foot spacing) for employees working alongside one another and customers waiting in lines within or outside the business using visual markings, limit building capacity and post the new protocol at the business entrance.

Coulter also cautioned residents that scammers are trying to prey on unsuspecting people by asking for items and cash. Any requests for assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic will be made through the news media or verified @OakGov channels. No one will contact you individually. If you are unsure whether a request for help is legitimate, please call our COVID-19 Helpline at 248-858-1000.

Coulter also thanked those who dropped off personal protection equipment at Oakland County Farmers Market Monday after he put out the call for donations. On the first day, HoMedics, which is headquartered in Commerce Township, donated 10,000 N95 masks. In addition, others dropped off 20,000 surgical masks and 6,000 pairs of safety glasses. There still is a great need for donations. Keep them coming.

Coulter encouraged residents to follow recommended heath protocols, including frequent and thorough hand washing, social distancing and staying home if sick. Residents with questions about the disease should call the Heath Division’s Nurse on Call phone line at 1-800-848-5533. Residents with non-health calls should call 248-858-1000.

The county will also send text messages with updates on the coronavirus. Those interested should text oakgov to 28748.