Hospitals continue with visitor restrictions, announce online urgent care

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published March 20, 2020

METRO DETROIT — On March 19, Ascension St. John Hospital officials updated its visitor restrictions for all of its hospitals and ambulatory sites.

The restrictions are consistent with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order to help protect the health and safety of patients, families, and health care staff from the spread of COVID-19.

According to a hospital press release, no visitors are permitted at Ascension Michigan hospitals except for: one visitor permitted for support of activities of daily living like bathing or, eating for pediatric (under 21) and special needs patients; one visitor for a surgery patient, per hospice patient, for patients at the end of life and for patients in serious or critical condition; one birth partner, as well as a doula if participating in the birth, and one visitor required to make decisions on behalf of the patient.

No visitors are permitted at Ascension ambulatory outpatient sites except for one accompanying person to support the delivery of care to the patient, for a surgery patient, for patients in serious condition, or for one birth partner as well as a doula if participating in the birth.

According to the press release, visitors meeting any of the criteria must pass a health screening before entering any Ascension Michigan facility.

Ascension health care staff recommend that people with questions about their symptoms consider “virtual care.” This option allows patients with urgent care issues to use a mobile device — smartphone, laptop or tablet — for an online urgent care visit. The app can be downloaded at People can use the promo code HOME for a discounted, $20 online urgent care visit. No insurance is required, according to the press release.

On March 20, hospital personnel announced that Ascension Michigan ministries established COVID-19 triage areas near all emergency departments, including the Ascension Macomb-Oakland Warren campus, Ascension Macomb-Oakland in Madison Heights, Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit, Ascension River District in East China Township, Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital, Ascension Providence Novi Hospital, and Ascension Providence Southfield Hospital.

The measures are being put in place to help distance individuals with a concern about COVID-19 exposure from the rest of the patient population, staff and health care providers. In addition, a new hotline number with the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 is available by calling (833) 981-0738 or visiting