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Oakland County extends health order to prevent spread of COVID-19 in businesses

Businesses still required to implement screening protocols, social distancing measures

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PONTIAC, Mich. – Oakland County Health Officer Leigh-Anne Stafford has issued a new emergency order requiring businesses and operations to implement screening and social distancing protocols.

May 9, 2020: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 46,756; Death toll now at 4,526

The new emergency order is an extension of a similar order issued last month, which has evolved to include newly-opened businesses.

Effective immediately -- if not already done so -- businesses and operations are required to implement screening protocols to ensure employees have not contracted COVID-19. Employees must also wear face coverings under the order.

The order also requires compliance with social distancing measures outlined in previous orders, officials said. The county’s order aligns with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s current executive orders.

MORE: Coronavirus in Michigan: A timeline of closures, event bans, stay-at-home orders

“As we begin a phased re-opening of the economy, it is vital that the strict protocols we have in place extend to all open businesses,” County Executive David Coulter said. “These protocols protect employees and customers and they will reassure the public that every step is being taken to prevent a second spike of the virus as we shift to new phases of re-opening our economy.”

Screening procedures include checking employees for known COVID-19 symptoms outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here. Businesses are also required to display the health order at the entrance of their buildings, officials said.

Click here to read our latest news on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.


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