Oakland County Executive David Coulter has announced that former veteran Congressman Sander Levin will play a leading role in the county’s efforts to protect the public from the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“I want to supplement our strong internal efforts with an independent advisor who can assist our staff and collaborate with community partners,” Coulter said. “Sandy Levin is uniquely qualified with his expertise on health care issues from his work on the Ways and Means committee, international relations, and his deep roots in Oakland County.”

In Congress, Levin made funding for the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health a high priority. Levin, father of current Rep. Andy Levin, will meet with a 12-member internal Oakland County government team and engage in outreach to local governments and the private sector.

“In these health matters it is wise to exercise an abundance of caution and have in place the organization to be fully prepared if and as necessary,” Levin said.

The Oakland County Health Division recommends the following prevention tips:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, throw the tissue in the trash, and then wash your hands.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoiding sharing cups, drinking bottles, utensils and eating food from the same dish.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
  • Staying home when sick except to get medical care.

Also, the public is urged to be prepared with the following supplies:

  • Maintain a two-week supply of water and food at home, and routinely check your regular prescription drugs to ensure that you won’t run out.
  • Keep non-prescription drugs and other health supplies on hand
  • Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records
  • Talk with family members about how they would be cared for if they got sick and what would be needed to care for them in your home.

Patients with COVID-19 have reportedly had mid to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. According to CDC, symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. If anyone believes they have symptoms and have recently traveled to China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, or other destinations with risk of community spread, or have been in contact with someone who has had the virus, they should promptly call their healthcare provider or hospital prior to arriving so that the appropriate preventive measures can be put in place. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection.