PONTIAC, Mich. - An Oakland County-based mortgage company has been ordered to enforce social distancing and other measures to protect employees after more than 50 workers at the mortgage lender were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19.
United Shore, one of the country's largest mortgage lenders and based out of Pontiac, received a letter from health officials on Tuesday that it was "operating a business in direct violation" of rules ordered by the governor to protect against the coronavirus.
If the company did not follow a list of recommendations from the Oakland County Health department, employees could face jail time and a $200 fine.
"...you are hereby required to cooperate with the Oakland County Health Division in its efforts to prevent or control the transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic," read the letter, which was signed by health officer Leigh-Anne Stafford.
Among those efforts include implementing social distancing rules of at least six feet, requiring face masks, developing and implementing a "daily screening process and stay home when sick policy," as well as encouraging employees to work from home, if possible.
In a statement from United Shore, the company said they were operating at "less than half-capacity" and anyone working in the office were team members who have to be in there or self-selected to return. The option of working from home would remain in place until January 2021.
"We have taken extensive measures to ensure compliance with all guidelines set forth by the state, the CDC, and MIOSHA. We have also taken additional precautions to keep team members safe, such as placing acrylic shields between desks, enforcing mandatory masks and providing free masks, making gloves available, installing extra hand sanitizer stations throughout the building, closing the gym and more," said a spokesperson with United Shore.
While case increases like these have contributed to COVID-19's persistence in Michigan, health officials around the state have attributed some of the state's uptick in more positive cases to local gatherings where social distancing is ignored.
On Tuesday, Oakland, Genesee, and Livingston Counties warned that more than 150 cases of COVID-19 had been linked to parties where teens congregated in South Lyon and Fenton.
(Courtesy of the Oakland County Health Division)