THE DETROIT NEWS: How to do business, and stay safe

John Kennedy operates three manufacturing plants, including one in West Michigan, that have remained opened throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to produce essential medical devices.

Of 500 employees, only one, in Plymouth, Mass., has come down with the virus, and has recovered. It’s not by chance.

Kennedy’s Autocam Medical has instituted rigorous precautions to protect worker safety, including social distancing within the plants, mandatory face masks and a zero entrance policy for workers who show any symptoms of illness.

“We take everyone’s temperature before they enter the facility,” Kennedy says. “We took most of the chairs out of the conference rooms and stand up in meetings to maintain social distancing.”

All day long, cleaners wipe down every flat surface with cleanser. No visitors are allowed inside. And the social distancing rule is strictly enforced.

Kennedy, who is also chairman of the West Michigan Policy Forum, believes a large number of businesses in the state could safely reopen using the practices Autocam employs. The policy forum Friday endorsed a blueprint presented by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey that offers guidelines for a safe reopening of the state economy.

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