Macomb County, Oakland County Declare State Of Emergency Over Coronavirus

WWJ News
March 13, 2020 - 1:40 pm

(WWJ) The leaders of both Macomb County and Oakland County have declared a State of Emergency amid the COVID-19 outbreak

While Michigan is already under a State of Emergency, these localized declarations are important as they allow officials to shift resources quickly to assist residents, businesses and communities affected by coronavirus.

While there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Macomb County, County Executive Mark Hackel said the move is designed to further prevent the spread of the virus.

The State of Emergency declaration activates response and recovery elements of the county’s emergency operations plan, he explained, and directs county resources to be utilized to the fullest extent.

“Macomb County is taking every step possible to protect our residents,” said Hackel, in a statement. “Today I am declaring a State of Emergency to ensure resources are available to fight the virus and to contain its spread. I want to remind everyone to continue to take preventative measures, like frequently washing their hands or staying home when they are sick.”

While the Macomb County Health Department is continuing to work closely with community partners, health care providers, the state department and the CDC to monitor and respond to COVID-19, officials say the Macomb County Health Department is not a testing site.

If Macomb County residents have any of the symptoms of the virus (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), they should call their health care provider or the county help line at 586-463-3750.

Residents or individuals who have businesses within Macomb County are encouraged to take advantage of the county’s online services in lieu of visiting county buildings in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. A list of online services is being actively developed AT THIS LINK.

Other services that will not be interrupted at this time include our Macomb County Office of Senior Services Meals on Wheels program, which will continue providing home delivered meals to participants. 

[[List Of Possible Coronavirus Exposure Sites In Michigan]]

Oakland County Executive David Coulter said the declaration was necessary to open a path for federal funds, should they become available.

"A state of emergency is meant to reassure Oakland County residents that we are leveraging every resource to contain the virus,” Coulter said, in a in a statement.“We will take all necessary steps to slow the spread of this virus. 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."

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.-8 p.m., Monday through Friday. Callers with specific needs will be directed to county departments and divisions that can help or to other agencies and programs that can assist.

This all comes after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan has jumped to 12. The patients are from Oakland, Washtenaw, St. Clair, Ingham, Kent and Montcalm counties.

As that number is expected to grow, Michiganders are asked to continue to practice social distancing. Big events are canceled, and many public buildings and all schools are closed.