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Infectious disease doctors start consulting firm to help businesses reopen safely

Dr. Dana Lerman says her work inside hospitals can help the community too.

GOLDEN, Colo. — The scripture says to love thy neighbor, and a sign at the entrance of Calvary Church in Golden advises to love your neighbor by washing hands and refraining from hugs. 

While that might not be written in the Bible, Episcopalian Pastor Tim Phenna found new meaning in that message. 

“As much as people are talking about our rights to gather in all kinds of different ways including for worship, I think we have to balance that at this time with our responsibilities," said Phenna. "For me those two go hand in hand." 

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Since the middle of March, Pastor Phenna has been holding online worship services only, but as other businesses begin to reopen he's working on how to bring people back safely. 

“We realized that we were lacking that professional medical voice," said Phenna. 

That's where Dr. Dana Lerman comes in. 

She's an infectious disease physician at Rose Medical Center. While she has been helping her hospital with COVID-19 patients, she's seen a drop in other patients. 

"The patients who have bloodstream infections, and skin infections and other kinds of pneumonia, they weren’t coming to the hospital," she said. 

Because of less work at Rose Medical Center, Lerman co-founded the company, COVID Consultants. 

Businesses beginning to re-open can hire her for recommendations on how to minimize chances of a COVID-19 outbreak. 

“We work in the hospital to prevent disease transmission throughout the hospital, so it’s just a different way of looking," she said. 

Lerman will look at things like ventilation systems, whether or not current cleaning supplies can work against coronavirus, and she suggests safe-gathering practices. 

Credit: COVID Consultants
COVID Consultants will run their cleaning supplies through the EPA website to ensure they are approved and active against coronavirus

She can also help people understand all the guidelines from the CDC, the state, and local municipalities. 

“Well this would be a fabulous place to do a drive-in," she said to Phenna standing at the top of the church's parking garage. 

The consult took about two hours and they looked through every room of the church. The COVID Consultants will create a report to give to the church as a guide for re-opening. 

“To see folks looking at it with a fresh set of eyes, but also a professional medical set of eyes, it just gives so much more reassurance as to putting our plans in place in the future," he said. 

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