SKYLAR DUBELKO | STAFF REPORTER
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Dr. Monique S. Cohn of Advanced Dermatology in Twinsburg said prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she had never missed a day of work or taken a vacation lasting more than one week.
“The thought of not seeing patients in the office for six weeks seemed unimaginable, but that’s exactly what ended up happening,” Cohn said in a July 17 email to the CJN.
Once Ohio announced the closure of all non-essential businesses, Cohn had to decide what was best for her practice. She said many of her employees have young children, and once day cares closed, they had no one to stay at home with their children while they worked.
“Plus, with so much uncertainty with regards to the virus, I felt the best and safest place for both myself, my family, my employees and my patients was at home,” Cohn said.
She furloughed all but two employees and began seeing patients from home through online visits. She said she was able to diagnose and treat rashes, refill prescriptions and monitor suspicious growths.
Cohn said she even diagnosed several COVID-19 cases based on skin manifestations. Once she got the news that businesses could reopen, Cohn brought back employees one at a time. As of July 6, everyone was back.
She said she got personal protective equipment, such as scrubs, masks, goggles and gloves for her employees, wherever she could find it.
“I even bought some from a veterinary clinic that was closed,” Cohn said.
Patients must wear masks and visits have been spaced out to thin traffic and keep everyone safe. Upon arrival, patients are taken from the front door directly into a clean, sanitized private room after a temperature screening.
Twenty out of 24 chairs have been removed from her waiting room and Plexiglass guards have been strategically placed over the check-in and check-out counters.
Cohn said she has seen an uptick in hand eczema cases from constant hand washing, so she developed and now sells her own alcohol-free moisturizing hand sanitizer lotion. She has also seen a rise in acne cases due to mask-wearing, dubbed “maskne,” and has put together her own breakout prevention formula.
According to Cohn, her patients have respected the new rules.
“There is such a feeling of ‘we are all in this together,’” Cohn said. “Despite all the negativity and division I see on social media, I feel that the reality of the love and positivity I see in my office through my patients and my staff is what keeps me hopeful that in the days and months to come, things will in fact, get better over time.”
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