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.

“I am a single father and diabetes patient. How safe is it for me to send my two daughters back to school?” – Ng

To be honest, we don’t know. We do know that children can get infected, but we still don’t fully understand how well kids can transmit the virus to others. The good news is the number of cases here in the Bay State is low and we hope that schools are taking the necessary precautions to keep kids and staff safe. But this is a hard decision for individual families to make.

“If we cannot have more than 25 people indoors, how is it safe to send children back to dorms and in-person classrooms?” – Tracey in Melrose

I know most schools are trying to limit the number of kids in a particular room so as to maintain some social distancing. Our schools, for example, are spreading kids out into the cafeteria, the gyms, and outdoor tents, so there aren’t too many people in one space at any given time.

“Would you consider it a safe option to send a child to school with a lunchbox and reusable water container, or would a ‘brown bag’ lunch be a better choice?” – Johnny

It’s probably fine to send a reusable lunchbox and water bottle and better for the environment. Just wash them well when your child comes home. There are some varieties you can just throw in the dishwasher.

“I work in a school district in MA that will be in-person starting in September. My colleagues are talking about wearing scrubs. Is it safe to wear regular clothing in classrooms with students?” – Florrie

While scrubs are comfortable and convenient, wearing regular clothing should be fine.  If kids are wearing masks, your clothes really shouldn’t get too contaminated. Just change your clothes as soon as you get home and throw them in the laundry. And maybe leave your shoes at the door or in the garage.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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