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Oakland County opens up COVID-19 testing to all adults; sends aid to Midland

New Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter
Dave Coulter for State Representative

As Michigan moves more toward re-opening its economy, Oakland County says it will now test anyone 18 or older for COVID-19.

Oakland County has drive-thru testing at three places in Pontiac, Southfield, and Novi. Starting now, any adult who wants to get tested there can do so.

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said you do need an appointment through the county health division’s Nurse on Call hotline. But, “You don’t need a doctor’s note or a prescription, and there’s no fee."

Coulter said Oakland County has tested more than 4,800 people at those sites so far. Only around 5% have tested positive, and that’s good—he said public health experts generally want to see less than 10% positivity rates.

As of Wednesday, Oakland County reported 8,117 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 935 deaths.

But nearly 6,000 of those people have recovered, Coulter said. “So that’s over 80% of the cases that have recovered, which is good news to hear. But we want to get more people tested.”

Coulter particularly urged employees returning to work to get tested.

“We all know how important it is for our economy that our residents start working again and our companies and businesses re-engage,” Coulter said. “But we also know we’re not in the clear yet.

“As more people return to work, we need to be vigilant and mindful that the coronavirus is still with us. I urge anyone with underlying health conditions and those adults who are returning to work to get tested. The great progress we’ve made has put many residents back on the job. We need to keep our guard up.”

Coulter also announced Wednesday that the county would send aid to flood-devastated Midland County. He said members of the county’s Incident Management Team are “providing on-scene resources” there, including a communications support team that can set up a radio system for emergency communications.

Coulter said Oakland’s Emergency Operations Center, already fully deployed for the pandemic, will send a 19-year veteran to assist Midland’s center. And Michigan Task Force One, based in Holly Township, sent a water rescue team.

“We as a county, a region, and a state are going to leverage our resources in order to help our neighbors up north in Midland County,” Coulter said.

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Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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