Oakland Together • COVID-19 Vaccine Update • Auto Show coming to Pontiac • A message from Dave Coulter



January 28, 2021

Oakland County Executive Biweekly Newsletter

Dear Friends,

For me, Amanda Gorman – our youngest Poet Laureate to speak at a Presidential Inauguration – was a true inspiration. Her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” captured the moment, provided hope and community spirit. She will recite the same poem on Feb. 7 at Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Fla.

We now appear to be fully past the holiday surge and our COVID-19 numbers have returned to the levels we were seeing in October prior to the winter surge. We are closely watching the new variants and encouraging residents to maintain careful adherence to health protocols in the weeks ahead.

We are working with the Board of Commissioners to appropriate the necessary funds to continue enhancing our vaccine distribution infrastructure in the weeks ahead when more vaccine is available. Please continue to stay in touch with your hospital system as they are another potential source of vaccine appointments.

It is critical that the federal and state governments ramp up vaccine distribution and provide more certainty on the arrival of supply. In recent weeks, our dose amount is slowly increasing, going from 1,950 to around 7,000. We will continue to provide regular updates in this newsletter and on our website.

Warmest regards,

David Coulter
Oakland County Executive

Save Your Spot

We continue to use the “Save Your Spot” sign-up as a virtual line for residents interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. While demand continues to far exceed supply this allows us to organize our distribution.

When you are eligible to set an appointment and vaccine doses are available, we will contact you by phone, text, or email. We do this each week in small increments as soon as we know how many doses we are receiving from the state each week.

Save Your Spot Vaccine

The Health Division is currently vaccinating eligible residents and workers from health care, long-term care; law enforcement, fire and EMS; education staff, and individuals 65 years and older who live or work in Oakland County.

More than 3,000 vaccinations were given Saturday at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi and we continue to schedule appointments at our five drive-through locations around the county.

A new drive-through site at the West Bloomfield Fire Station opens Friday by-appointment-only to accommodate 640 people.

A new site in Madison Heights, the United Food and Commercial Workers 876, 876 Horace Brown Drive, will vaccinate 1,250 workers and residents on Sunday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. by invitation/appointment-only. There is no walk-up availability.

Board of Commissioners Chief of Staff Chris Ward to Join Coulter Administration as Deputy County Executive

Oakland County Board of Commissioners Chief of Staff Chris Ward is the administration’s new deputy county executive, filling the final vacancy on the county executive staff. He will assume his new role on Feb. 4.

Ward’s knowledge of county government is unparalleled, and he will bring this unique strength to our executive leadership team. He will focus on strategic policy initiatives, improving and facilitating relations with the board and the administration, oversee and manage state and federal policy development, and act as a liaison with other county-wide offices on executive priorities. He also will lead strategic relations with partner organizations to advance Oakland County initiatives.

Ward is a Waterford Township resident and has more than 28 years of service in local, county, and state government. He was elected as a Brighton Township trustee in 1992 when he was 18. He was a state representative for the 66th district, representing the Brighton and Milford areas from 2003-2008. The boundaries have since been redrawn. While in the House, he was majority leader in 2005-06 and minority leader in 2007. He has been a county employee since 2009 when he was appointed as Deputy County Clerk/Register of Deeds. Ward has been chief of staff for the Board of Commissioners since 2016.

Hybrid Detroit Auto Show Coming to Pontiac’s M1 Concourse in September

The pandemic has affected another longtime staple of the region – the North American International Auto Show.

The Detroit Auto Dealers Association this week decided to move the popular show – at least for 2021 – to the M1 Concourse in Pontiac.

The event, dubbed the Motor Bella, is set for Sept. 21-26. The North American International Auto Show is our region’s premier opportunity to showcase our domestic auto industry. We welcome the decision by the DADA to adapt to both COVID-19 and the changing nature of auto shows to launch Motor Bella at the M-1 Concourse.

If you are not familiar, this unique facility offers several outdoor assets to spotlight the future of mobility and create a preeminent experiential motorsports event. M-1 Concourse – named after the historic heart of the automobile, Woodward Avenue – will continue to spotlight the regional nature of this event. The county looks forward to being a full partner in that effort. We hope to see you there this fall.

County Aggressively Used Federal Funds In 2020 Pandemic Response

Oakland County has used all its $219 million received in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding in support of its pandemic response this year.

This included more than $145 million in grants to help stabilize and support small businesses, residents, and communities in every part of the county.

The grants were awarded to more than 15,000 local businesses, which employ 65,000 people; 22 local chambers of commerce; 57 cities, villages, and townships, 278 non-profit and 31 veterans services organizations; 28 local school districts as well as retailers, restaurants, community centers, and more.

In 2020, Oakland County was among the most impacted in Michigan by confirmed coronavirus cases, which exceeded 53,000 in the county with at least 1,468 deaths and more than 40,000 recoveries. The county maintained a dashboard throughout the pandemic and maps of community spread.

Other numbers associated with the pandemic include:

  • The county’s Emergency Operations Center acquired over 1.3 million N95/KN95 masks, more than 1 million gowns/lab jackets, 141,000-plus face shields, about 50,000 boxes of medical gloves, and nearly 60,000 boxes of non-medical gloves.
  • The center responded to 8,000 requests for resources from the county, local government, and other entities.
  • Oakland County Health Division’s Nurse on Call hotline received nearly 86,000 COVID-related phone calls and over 2,600 COVID-related emails throughout the pandemic in 2020.
  • The Health Division swabbed more than 31,000 COVID-19 tests at its drive-through testing sites in 2020.
  • Provided over $770,000 in food assistance beginning early in the pandemic.
  • Fed 700 homeless and at-risk individuals two meals a day. In addition, the county has been providing 200 meals a day at homeless shelters since August.
  • Oakland County Michigan Works! received over 475,000 telephone calls and helped resolve over 46,000 unemployment issues.

The County Executive and the Board of Commissioners are again working quickly to ensure that county has appropriated the funds necessary to facilitate vaccine distribution in advance of additional state and federal action to provide additional resources.


Updated COVID-19 Information

For the latest information, please refer to our website at oakgov.com and click on the COVID-19 button on the home page.


Oakland Together