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.

Dr. Mallika is offering her best advice, but as always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your personal health.

A convenience store near my house just reopened after two weeks. I found out the owner had COVID-19, but he said he’s okay now. Should I be afraid? – Carole, Facebook

No, you should not be afraid. It is unlikely that the store owner is still contagious after two weeks, and you both should be wearing masks and keeping a safe distance away inside the store anyhow.

I am 73 years old and need my furnace checked once a year. Is it safe to let him in through my cellar and out the same way? They say that they do wear masks. – Theresa

Ideally, you could step outside while they’re checking your furnace. If you do have to go down to the cellar while they’re there, both you and the technicians should wear masks. You can also disinfect any common surfaces that they may touch while in your home (for example, if they use your restroom).

I’m 72 and in very good health. My husband is a patient at MGH. He does not have the virus. Is it safe to visit? – Camille, Facebook

Hospitals, including MGH, have strict rules on visitors right now. But my understanding is that patients who are not on respiratory isolation can have one adult visitor. But please call his unit to find out if you can visit and when would be a good time.

Will a new COVID vaccine contain live or killed virus? – Janet

There are some vaccines that use weakened live virus to boost the immune system, like the MMR vaccine, for example. But most of the vaccines under development for COVID-19 contain a piece of the virus, like a protein or genetic code, and not the whole virus itself. Certain people with weakened immune systems should not receive live vaccines but could be able to receive many of the coronavirus vaccines being studied now.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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