Executive orders close Farmington area playgrounds, salons

Two new executive orders issued Saturday closed down area playgrounds and personal care service businesses.

During a morning press conference, Oakland County Executive David Coulter announced a Health Division order that closes playgrounds and shopping malls. He also announced the county’s first death due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), a 50-year-old man with underlying health issues.

Coulter said, while this is not a time to panic, the man’s death “magnifies to me the seriousness of where we are.”

“This could be any of us,” he said. “We need to do all measures that we can to contain the spread of this virus and make sure that the number of people who contract the virus and, ultimately, the number of fatalities is as low as we can make it.”

Coulter said while it is still okay to go outside and into parks with social distancing, communities s. In addition, County Health Officer Leigh-Anne Stafford announced an order requiring child care centers to screen for symptoms like a fever, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath.

Coulter said the county is looking into establishing facilities for people who have tested positive for the virus but are “subacute,” and do not require intensive care, to relieve the burden on hospitals.

“When people ask are we over-reacting, I would say absolutely not. There is a new normal right now,” he said, adding officials are focused on the health, wellness, and safety of residents.

The playground closure remains in effect until April 17.

Later in the day, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the closure of all “non-essential” personal care service businesses, including hair, nail, tanning, massage, spa, tattoo, body art and piercing services.

“I know these changes are difficult, but they are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19,” she wrote in a social media post.

By the time Whitmer’s order went into effect, several local salons had already stopped providing services. Among them, Merle Norman in downtown Farmington notified customers on Monday about suspension of service, and Cher Salon in Farmington announced a temporary closure on Saturday. Nail Bytes Salon on Grand River in Farmington and The Studio for Hair in Farmington Hills closed earlier in the week.

Whitmer’s order takes effect no later than 9 a.m. on March 22 and remains in effect until April 13, 11:59 p.m.