Oakland County orders all playground equipment, shopping malls closed to prevent spread of COVID-19

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter announced Saturday morning that all playground equipment and shopping malls are ordered closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Coulter made the announcement just hours after the county announced the first death of a resident from the county.

Coulter said malls will be closed effective at noon on Saturday. He encouraged residents to go to parks and walk on trails but said there is no guarantee that playgrounds are not infected with the coronavirus/COVID-19. The closures are in place through at least April 17th.

Coulter told residents that if they don't have to, they should stay home.

"Non-essential activity should cease today," he said.

The announcement comes on the heels of the death of the first resident of Oakland County, a man in his 50s. 

"This could be any of this. this could be your husband, brother, or coworkers," Coulter said.

Coulter said that the virus does not discriminate based on age and said county's youngest case is just 7 months old.

A total of three public health orders were issued Saturday: closing the malls, closing playgrounds, and ordering daycares to screen all people who enter facilities to ensure they do not have a fever or any other symptoms.

Sheriff Michael Bouchard spoke as well, saying if they get a report of health orders being violated, they'll respond, address the issue, and then leave.

"We will not be arresting people for violating these orders," Bouchard said.

He reiterated that officers will continue to respond to emergencies but minor crimes, like someone knocking a mailbox over, Bouchard said they would not be responding to at this time.

Since the first cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Michigan on March 10, Gov. Whitmer has declared a state emergency, closed all schools, prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people, restricted visits to hospitals and other facilities, closed public spaces such as theaters, bars, gyms and casinos, and limited restaurants to carry-out and delivery orders.  

That was all in efforts to social distance and slow the spread of the virus. You can learn more about social distancing and flattening the curve in the video player above. 

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. 

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

Are you showing symptoms? Try Beaumont's virtual screening tool

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.


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You can also get the latest coronavirus news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com