Oakland County Businesses Ordered To Screen Employees For Coronavirus Symptoms

By WWJ Newsradio 950

PONTIAC, Mich. (WWJ) -- Businesses in Oakland County that remain open amid the coronavirus pandemic are now being told to screen employees for signs of the virus.

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter issued an emergency order Tuesday requiring businesses to screen all employees for illness, exposure to COVID-19 and establish a social distancing protocol for customers and employees to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus. 

Coulter made the announcement Tuesday during a remote news conference from the L. Brooks Patterson Executive Office Building in Waterford. The media was asked to either phone in or follow it live on Facebook to comply with social distancing.

Coulter's order builds on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “stay home, stay safe” order issued Monday that prohibits Michiganders from going in public, unless necessary, to help slow the spread of the virus.

Whitmer's executive order for Michiganders to stay home amid the outbreak does allow for many businesses to remain open, including restaurants offering takeout and delivery, grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and more. SEE THE FULL LIST HERE.

Those that do remain open will be required to develop and implement a daily screening program for all staff which includes questions about possible symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath -- the three main symptoms of COVID-19. It also asks whether the employee has traveled domestically or internationally in the past 14 days. 

Depending on their answers, employees could be required to stay home for three to 14 days.

The order will also require busineeses to develop and implement a plan to manage and control social distancing -- at least six-foot spacing -- for employees working alongside one another and customers waiting in lines within or outside the business using visual markings, limit building capacity and post the new protocol at the business entrance.

Coulter's order will go into effect Wednesday at noon.

The latest numbers released by the state Tuesday show 428 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Oakland County, with four deaths being reported.

Oakland County health officials are also urging businesses to frequently clean and disinfect surfaces such as:

  • Cashier stations and self-checkouts
  • Credit card terminals
  • Bathrooms
  • Food shelves and service counters
  • Conveyor belts
  • Shopping carts and baskets
  • Freezer and cooler door handles
  • Food scales

>>> Coronavirus In Michigan: What You Need To Know On Tuesday, March 24

Coulter also cautioned residents Tuesday that scammers are trying to prey on unsuspecting people by asking for items and cash. Coulter reminds residents that any requests for assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic will be made through the news media or verified on the channels. No one will contact you individually, he stressed.

He says if you are unsure whether a request for help is legitimate, you should call the county's COVID-19 Helpline at 248-858-1000.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. Stay tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 where we will remain live, local and committed to bringing you the latest information during this outbreak. >> LISTEN LIVE!