Oakland County Sheriff Bouchard addresses COVID-19 concerns in phone town hall

Posted at 5:26 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 17:36:53-04

(WXYZ) — Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard held a telephone town hall to address concerns about COVID-19 in Oakland County.

Bouchard began by stating there are currently 2,183 cases of coronavirus in Oakland County, with 119 deaths.

Health Department officials stressed that anyone who has tested positive needs to quarantined for at least 7 days from the start of their symptoms and at least 72 hours since their symptoms subsided, and the asymptomatic period must not be contributed to by medications.

The officials also said testing right now is mainly done by the availability of tests, as well as how long it will take to get the test back. The officials say many hospitals will not even test unless you are going to be admitted to the hospital.

They also stressed that the outer edge of the possibility of developing COVID-19 is 14 days after exposure to a person who is positive for the coronavirus.

Bouchard also said that anyone who is not an essential worker should only be going out for food or medicine. He used the example of a landscaping company cleaning up leaves. Bouchard said that even if they keep 6 feet apart, they are not essential and that would not be in compliance with the Governor's stay-at-home order.

When it comes to people using parks, Bouchard and the health officials on the town hall call said a good rule of thumb for using public parks for exercise is that if you have to drive to it, it's probably too far to travel. They said they want people to use the outdoor facilities with social distancing, but that they don't want them to overwhelm the facilities.

Health officials also addressed the need for social distancing, especially with young people who are playing in parks. Bouchard said it was important to emphasize that they can be carriers and give COVID-19 to someone else, even if they never have any symptoms.

They also addressed the use of masks, saying the best way to use a surgical mask (not an N-95 mask) is to have the sick person wearing it, to prevent them from spreading the respiratory droplets that spread the virus.

For people worried about contracting COVID-19 if they have need to go to an emergency room, health officials recommend starting with a phone call to your primary care physician who can refer you to an urgent care of telemedicine option. However, even then they recommend calling ahead to let them know you are coming in, so they can help you avoid the coronavirus. However, they also said you need to be aware that going to a hospital automatically puts you at a higher risk of encountering COVID-19.

As for law enforcement, Bouchard said they are relaxing some enforcement on traffic-related reasons because the Secretary of State offices are closed. However, Bouchard said all enforcement remains in effect when public safety is concerned.

He also said he believes a curfew is not needed at this point because they are normally put into place when the least amount of people are out and about.

Bouchard said the most updated information about COVID-19 will be posted on Oakland County's social media pages, including the top questions from the town hall.

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