Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard tests positive for COVID-19

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Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard announced Tuesday that he tested positive for the coronavirus and will be working remotely.

Bouchard, a Republican who won a sixth term in office in November 2020, is fully vaccinated and has received a booster shot.

He said he is experiencing a headache, congestion, exhaustion and other aches with the virus.

“Even though I choose to be fully vaccinated and received the booster shot, the omicron variant was still able to catch up with me,” he said in a release.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard

“I had assumed it was not a question of whether it caught up to me given the duties of a first responder, but when. Per our protocols I will be in quarantine, but I will continue to work remotely.”

The virus is in its fourth surge in Michigan, with health officials saying it is fueled by the highly-transmissible omicron variant. The surge is bearing down on the state, driving up cases and hospitalizations and breaking record after record in its wake.

More: Michigan warns of unprecedented COVID-19 surge, urges vaccines and boosters

More: Omicron variant is disrupting almost every aspect of life in Michigan

Models suggest the surge could peak in late January or early February.

Health officials are urging residents age 5 and older to get vaccinated against the virus or boosted, to wear better masks -- such as KN95s -- in indoor settings, to social distance and to wash hands.

On Monday, the state health department confirmed 617 cases of omicron in Michigan through genetic sequencing, including 93 cases in Oakland County. More than half of the cases statewide are in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties and the city of Detroit.

But that is estimated to be only a small fraction of the total number of cases of the virus strain in the state.

More: Outdoor tent serves as waiting room at Mercy Health Muskegon during COVID-19 surge

More: Michigan attorney general issues consumer alert for COVID-19 test scams

In November 2020, Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said he tested positive for COVID-19 and reported having mild symptoms. A month later, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon died after a month-long battle with the virus. He was 65.

More: 'He was born smiling:' Police, civilians say goodbye to Sheriff Benny Napoleon

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office said in the release that it has been hit hard by COVID-19, with more than 170 of its 1,400 employees off work because they have the virus or were exposed to it.

Earlier in the pandemic, Bouchard ordered regular testing for employees, regardless of vaccination status, to keep workers and the public protected.

Contact Christina Hall: chall@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Oakland County Sheriff Bouchard tests positive for COVID-19

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