First COVID-19 Death of Oakland County Resident

Oakland County Health Division reports the first death from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a 50-year-old male Oakland County resident. This individual had underlying health conditions. As of today, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has reported 549 COVID-19 cases across the state, with 202 cases in Oakland County.

“This is a tragic loss and we share our heartfelt condolences with the family,” Oakland County Executive David Coulter said. “This is also an important reminder of the seriousness of this virus and the importance of personal and community-wide efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.”

Coulter, the Health Division, and Oakland County’s Emergency Operations Center officials were holding a news conference to update the county’s COVID-19 cases and response on Saturday , March 21, at 11 a.m. at the L. Brooks Patterson Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford.

Older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for severe disease and should taking extra actions to reduce their risk of getting sick, including:

  • Staying home as much as possible, and avoiding crowds
  • Having supplies on hand, such as prescription and over-the-counter medications, medical supplies, household supplies and groceries so that they will be prepared to stay home for a period of time.
  • Avoiding all non-essential travel
  • Determining who can care for them if they or their caregiver gets sick. They may need help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, etc.

Take steps to protect yourself:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Staying home when sick except to get medical care.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people.
  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough/sneeze in your upper sleeve. Immediately throw away used tissues in the trash, then wash hands.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs.
  • Practicing good health habits.  Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.

Oakland County provided local updates about COVID-19 and prevention resources at Information is available for the public, healthcare providers, businesses, schools, child care centers, faith-based organizations, senior centers, food service workers and first responders.

The county has also established an Oakland County Help Hotline — 248-858-1000 — to address non-health needs of the general public such as food or housing assistance. The hotline will be staffed 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Patients with COVID-19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. Sustained community spread of COVID-19 is occurring globally. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for detailed information about international and domestic travel notices.

This is an evolving situation; visit for updated information, or call Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For up-to-date public health information, follow @publichealthOC on Facebook and Twitter.

For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Oakland County media & communications officer, at (248) 858-1048.