COVID-19 field hospital to open at Suburban Collection Showplace

Oakland County officials announced Monday that a Novi expo and conference center will become a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) field hospital for COVID-19 patients.

County Executive David Coulter said during a Facebook live update that construction will begin soon at Suburban Collection Showplace on Grand River, using local workers.

”We expect trucks with equipment to begin arriving today,” he said, adding the conversion will take 7-14 days.

Health Officer Leigh-Anne Stafford said that this week will be “one of the hardest”, with a growing number of cases and “many more deaths.”

“We are unfortunately not at our peak yet,” she said.

As of 3 p.m. on Monday, Oakland County reported more than 3,000 total cases, with approximately 330 of those spread across four major ZIP codes in Farmington and Farmington Hills. (You can find updated numbers and the ZIP code map here: oakgov.com/covid/Pages/default.aspx. The map represents where people who tested positive live, not where they contracted the virus.)

Stafford said the county is providing essential businesses with “compliance kits” that include employee screening guidelines, door signs, and social distancing protocols. The documents can be downloaded from the COVID-19 section of the county website, under “Toolkits”.

Anyone with concerns about businesses that don’t appear to be following protocols, Coulter said, should call the county hotline, 248-858-1000. Officials are working with local government partners to ensure compliance, he said.

Last week, the state Department of Health added weight to violations of COVID-19 related executive orders, which now carry a $1,000 fine. Businesses that violate orders may be jeopardizing their licenses.

Stafford also urged residents to avoid gathering in groups, even with extended family during upcoming holiday celebrations. Cloth masks, now recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), will help those who don’t know they have it from spreading the virus, she said.

”Everyone needs to act now and assume they have the virus. Anyone can be spreading the virus right now.”