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.

If the germ gets on a table, through a contaminated object, does it spread on the table or stay where it was contaminated? – Jan

It stays where it landed. Viruses don’t move around on their own. That said if you think a surface like a table may be contaminated, best to wash off the entire surface since you can’t see exactly where it is.

As a limousine driver and sometimes in tight quarters, how can I make the passenger(s) feel comfortable and still practice safety protocols? Joe

When someone rides in a limo or rideshare vehicle, they’re in close quarters for a prolonged period of time. As a driver, make sure that both you and the passenger are wearing masks. If you can, keep the windows open to provide ventilation. A partition between where you and the passengers sit would be ideal. And you really should disinfect the seats and door handles between each passenger.

When will family members be able to visit non-COVID patients in hospitals, such as surgical patients? It is torture not being able to be with my husband who is in the ICU. – Eileen

People who are hospitalized, especially those in the ICU, are incredibly vulnerable to the coronavirus so hospitals are generally not allowing visitors. I know how hard it must be to not be able to visit your husband but imagine how awful it would be if someone who was contaminated with the virus came into the ICU and put him and other patients at risk. Hospitals will ease restrictions when they can guarantee the safety of the patients and their staff but for now, it’s just too risky.

I live in Boston and have an 88-year-old mother who is on oxygen 24/7. She lives on the Cape. Can I visit her or should I wait? – Karen

Being 88 years old and on supplemental oxygen puts your mother at very high risk from the coronavirus. So as hard as it is, you should wait before you enter her home. Maybe you can visit her virtually online or maybe you can go to her house and stay in the driveway or on the lawn to visit her at a safe distance?

Dr. Mallika Marshall

  1. Nando P says: this site provides daily coronavirus statistics state-by-state

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