UK Variant is "probably already here” says Oakland County executive

Oakland County Executive David Coulter said Sunday that health officials in his county are operating under the assumption that the B.1.1.7 UK variant is already in the county.

The strain has now been identified in two Michigan counties. Five cases were identified in Washtenaw County and one in Wayne County. Coulter signaled officials are remaining vigilant and prepared.

"We believe that since it’s in those other counties, it’s probably already here," Coulter told Fox 2’s, Hilary Golston. "We may not have detected it yet…. We go under the assumption that it is in our communities."

Coulter says by using all the same tactics currently being employed to combat the virus, like hand washing, social distancing, and mask-wearing, the spread of the virus can be abated. "it just means we have to double down on these practices," Coulter said.

Like many leaders, Colter has said vaccinating as many citizens as possible is the key, as the UK strain is currently shown to be responsive to available Coronavirus vaccines.

Saturday, 3,400 doses of the vaccine were doled out at the Suburban Collection Showplace, and an additional 500 shots were given via drive through testing sites.

A shipment of more than 5,800 doses of the vaccine is expected on Monday, but Counter says the county could use many more doses of the vaccine than they're getting.

Coulter says demand for the vaccine is high. Currently, more than 170,000 people have signed up to get vaccinated via a digital waiting list on

He looks forward to a more robust vaccine rollout strategy from the Biden Administration. The President’s chief of staff said Sunday on Meet the Press that the previous administration had no vaccination rollout plan.