Oakland County executive recommends residents wear masks in public

The Oakland County Health Division is giving an update on the outbreak of coronavirus in the county as they see off several pilots who are flying to Muncie, Indiana, to pick up face shields.

Oakland County Executive David Coulter will see off the pilots in four planes as they had to Muncie to pick up more than 12,000 medical face shields. After the pilots pick them up, they will fly back to Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti for distribution.

Coulter also gave advice on wearing fabric masks and recommends that people start wearing them, if they believe it's necessary. 

"We're hearing more and more that the general population is going to be asked to wear the soft masks, not the N95, but the surgical and the soft masks. I would encourage you, if you're thinking about that, to start doing that already," he said.

Coulter said it should be used when you go to the pharmacy or the grocery store and said it won't be long before the order comes from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to do so.

"I think it's time that we start to institute those practices," he said. "The order hasn't come down quite yet from CDC, but I fully expect that it won't be long."

Coulter stressed that it's not necessarily for your protection but to protect others.

"You can have it before you have symptoms," he said. If you wear a mask or a bandana or something when you go out, if you happen to be positive and don't know it, it will help protect those folks from you."

Hundreds of protective masks donated to Oakland County Sheriffs Office

Oakland County has the second most cases of coronavirus in Michigan, behind only Wayne County. As of 3 p.m. Thursday, there were 2,183 cases and 119 deaths in Oakland County alone.

Southeast Michigan is the epicenter of coronavirus/COVID-19 cases in Michigan. Wayne County has almost 3,000 confirmed cases while Oakland County is second in the state with over 1,200 cases.