Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter declares state of emergency amid pandemic

Posted at 11:39 AM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 17:41:54-04

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — Oakland County is now under a state of emergency.

County Executive Dave Coulter made the declaration Friday to allow officials to quickly shift resources to assist residents, businesses and communities affected by the spread of the coronavirus.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday night two additional presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Oakland County, resulting in three total cases in the county. Both new cases are adult males, one with no known travel history, the other with history of domestic travel. The Oakland County Health Division says it's identifying close contacts of these individuals, assessing for risk and determining management of those exposed.

“We will take all necessary steps to slow the spread of this virus,” Coulter said. “The effects of this public health emergency are still unfolding, and we want to ensure that people with immediate needs get help as quickly as possible.

Coulter said the declaration was necessary to open a path for federal funds, should they become available. The county has established the 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 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Callers with specific needs will be directed to county departments and divisions that can help or to other agencies and programs that can assist.

Coulter directed the following actions as part of the county’s ongoing coronavirus response, including the full activation of the Emergency Operations Center to enable the county to assist our partners and stakeholders with coordinating resources and response to this public health emergency:

  • Public health orders to enforce actions aimed at reducing disease spread may be implemented.
  • Continue essential county services; support online options; explore grace periods and fee reductions; encourage teleworking and expansion of emergency leave policies to support county employees.
  • Intensify social distancing strategies by employers, faith-based institutions and entertainment venues.
  • Support for students out of school and in need of healthy food options and health care services.

Watch Coulter's full COVID-19 press conference below: