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Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Department takes precautions during COVID-19 outbreak

Ascension St. John Hospital enforces restrictions

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 17, 2020


GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Department members come in close proximity to residents and suspects on a daily basis, and department officials are doing all they can to keep the COVID-19 outbreak contained.

“I’m going over different protocols on how we will answer runs. This is kind of a work in progress. We’re trying to be as proactive as possible. We’re just trying to limit the exposure,” Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Department Director John Kosanke said. “We’re looking at a contingency plan if the coronavirus should spread within the department, and in case we start to get short on staff.”

Kosanke said the department has ordered additional supplies for personnel, including a non-contact thermometer, gloves, goggles, masks and personal protection equipment. Also in stock are “meals ready to eat,” or MRE packets, which are prepackaged food rations used in the United States armed forces.

“We’ve received a lot of information to keep things clean … cleaning our doorknobs and surfaces for employees,” Kosanke said. “The biggest thing is washing your hands and don’t touch your face.”

At press time additional measures were announced; check the city’s website at

Something Kosanke wants residents to look out for is what he called “coronavirus scams.”

“I foresee scams coming out because people are fearful,” Kosanke said. “Residents need to be very, very careful of telephone calls and emails (from people) scamming them out of money or trying to get their insurance information over the phone.”

Kosanke said residents can call the Public Safety Department at (313) 343-2400 if they have concerns about questionable phone calls or emails.

On March 16, Ascension St. John Hospital officials distributed a press release about the protocol that staff is taking to align with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order regarding visits to hospitals and other health care facilities. The Ascension hospital restrictions are to help protect the health and safety of patients, families and health care staff from COVID-19.

No visitors currently are permitted at Ascension Michigan hospitals, including the Mack and Moross location, except for one visitor for support of activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating for anyone under the age of 21, and patients with special needs; one visitor per surgery patient, for a hospice patient, and for patients at the end of life; one visitor for patients in serious or critical conditions, one birth partner and one visitor required to make a decision on behalf of the patient.

No visitors are permitted at Ascension ambulatory sites, with the exception of one accompanying person to support the delivery of care to the patients, for a surgery patient, for patients in serious conditions, and one birth partner.

According to the press release, Ascension infection control specialists are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health authorities to detect, protect and respond with current recommendations regarding COVID-19.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends that individuals call ahead before going to a doctor’s office, urgent care center or emergency room to inform clinical staff if they have symptoms and have recently traveled. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and may appear two to 14 days after exposure, according to the CDC.

Also to help reduce the spread of the disease, health care staff recommends 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

Consumers can use the promo code HOME for a discounted, $20 online urgent care visit. No insurance is required, the press release states.