By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) — Dr. Mallika Marshall is answering your coronavirus-related medical questions. If you have a question for Dr. Mallika, email her or message her on Facebook or Twitter.

Will ironing a mask kill the coronavirus? – Brian 

While the coronavirus does not like heat, it is probably best to wash your cloth mask with detergent and then throw it in the dryer rather than simply iron it. If you want to iron your mask after you’ve washed it, that’s fine, too.

If you wear a mask do you still need to maintain a 6-foot distance from others? – Judith

Yes. Even if you’re wearing a mask, you should still keep at least 6 feet away from others. That’s because while masks can help reduce transmission of the virus, they can’t contain all respiratory droplets that are coughed, sneezed or exhaled out into the air around you.

Is it ok to have a backyard BBQ with another family? – Shelly

It’s not a good idea for anyone who is at high risk. But I know that people are going to be getting together as the weather warms up whether it’s advised or not. So keep it outdoors. Limit it to one other family that is low risk and has remained in quarantine. Bring your own food and drink. Don’t share dishes, plates or utensils. Keep a safe distance from others and don’t drink too much. You don’t want to have to use someone else’s bathroom, and alcohol can impair your judgment.

I want to attend church services. How can I best protect myself?Sabrina 

I know that religious services provide great comfort, but we also know that there have been outbreaks at religious services all over the world. Places of worship tend to be held indoors in poorly ventilated spaces. Attendees often sing, share prayer books, shake hands, hug and share communion. All of these activities are risky at this time, especially for the elderly and others with weakened immunity. But if you go, wear a mask, space out as much as you can, avoid singing and don’t share items.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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