By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) — As Massachusetts continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the public has plenty of questions. Dr. Mallika Marshall answered some of those sent to her email ( and Facebook and Twitter accounts.

If you have had COVID-19, can you still be a carrier after you recover and are out of isolation? – Denise, Canton

Scientists still aren’t sure how long someone who is infected with the coronavirus may continue to shed the virus or whether they are still infectious during that time. But most experts agree that even if the virus is still detectable in the airways weeks after infection, it is unlikely that someone will continue to be infectious more than 10 days after the onset of symptoms.

Is it safe to vacuum since the virus could potentially be on floors or rugs? – Rita

If you live with someone who is sick with COVID-19, that person is hopefully isolated in a separate room, and you should avoid entering that room to clean. Otherwise, yes, you can vacuum the floors and rugs in your home.

My 87-year-old mother lives alone and I typically help her with some household chores. Other than wearing a mask, spraying my clothes with disinfectant, and removing my shoes, what else should I do when I enter her house? – Lynda

It sounds like you’re doing what you can to protect your mom. Keep your distance from her in the home. Wash your hands and have her wash her hands frequently. Disinfect any items you bring into the home, including groceries. And when you’re away from her, do everything you can to protect yourself from getting infected.

I’m over 80 and asymptomatic because I’m isolated. Shouldn’t I get a test so I can stop living in depression and fear? – Martin

I’m glad you’re keeping safe by staying at home because you’re at high risk for COVID-19. And while I know it’s so frustrating to remain in isolation, it’s the best thing for you to do right now.  If you’ve truly been out of harm’s way, you probably don’t need to be tested because you haven’t been exposed. But I hate that you’re feeling depressed. Please call your doctor to discuss your feelings and know that people love you and staying home to protect you.

Dr. Mallika Marshall