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 (drmallika@cbs.com) and Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“I am in my first trimester and would like to visit family that live in New York. As restrictions begin to be lifted both here and there, how can I safely do this?” -Catherine

There’s no evidence to suggest that you’re more likely to get the coronavirus or get severe symptoms of it while pregnant, it’s not a good idea to socialize with family outside of your home right now. Not only to protect you but your family members as well. But as always, you should consult your prenatal provider.

“How can my 20-year old see her boyfriend safely at his home? His parents work at a hospital with COVID patients, and I’m worried for her safety.” -Debbie

They really should continue to socially distance for now. Maybe they can have a “driveway date” where they sit in the driveway at least six feet apart with masks on. It’s not the same as a real date but it at least gives them some face-to-face time. Remind your daughter that by keeping her distance, she’s not only protecting herself but she’s protecting her boyfriend, and you, her mother, as well.

“When someone uses hand dryers in a bathroom, it blows air around from the high pressure. Can the virus be picked up this way?” -Bill, on Facebook 

If someone hasn’t washed their hands properly, theoretically, using a hand dryer could distribute germs in the environment. That said, the most important thing is to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry them off completely, preferably with paper towels, otherwise a hand dryer.

“Can a person get coronavirus twice? I had it, and work in a long-term care facility, but recovered and had a negative test. I am worried about going back to work where there are COVID cases.” -Georgia 

An antibody test would tell you for sure if you have developed some immunity, but chances are if you had the virus, you have some protection from getting it again in the near future. We don’t know how long that protection lasts, but even if you were re-infected, you would likely have milder symptoms.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

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