Oakland County COVID-19 health order requires masks for workers

Oakland County Executive David Coulter on Tuesday announced a new public health order that requires facial coverings for all essential retail workers, to slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Oakland County Executive David Coulter mask
Oakland County Executive David Coulter wears his handmade mask during Tuesday’s press conference. (Facebook.com screenshot)

Workers at a number of Farmington and Farmington Hills grocery and drug stores already require employees to wear masks, and some have placed plexiglass screens between customers and clerks.

During a live-streamed press conference, Coulter said Emergency Order 2020-07 extends the conditions of a March 25 directive that expired on April 13. It continues required screening of employees for COVID-19 symptoms through April 30, when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home. Stay Safe.” Executive Order expires. 

The new County order drops social distancing language. Coulter said that’s covered by the state directive, which requires stores to establish lines with markings that help ensure the six-foot separation among customers.

The masks required are not surgical or N95 masks, which should be reserved for front line health care personnel. According to the order:

”A facial cover includes any covering which snugly covers the face and mouth, whether store bought or homemade, and which is secured with ties or ear loops. Examples of compliant homemade masks may be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html. 

Health Officer Leigh-Anne Stafford strongly encouraged anyone going out in public to wear a mask, saying, “This is how we show our support for these essential workers.”

Also during the press conference, Coulter announced a new drive-thru COVID-19 testing location on the County’s government campus in Pontiac. Priority will be given to first responders, essential and critical infrastructure employees, those 65 and older, those who have underlying health conditions, he said, as well as residents of Pontiac, where rates of testing have been very low.

Coulter said “priority” doesn’t mean exclusion; the site will be open to anyone by appointment.

After limited service on Thursday and Friday, testing will be done Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at 1200 N. Telegraph, with a capacity of about 250 people per day. To make an appointment, call 800-848-5533.

Watch the full press conference:


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