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.

“Why can’t people blow their nose into a towelette for testing of COVID? Wouldn’t this be easier and at the same time be just as effective as a nasal swab?” -Judy 

It would be difficult to process a specimen that is collected with a tissue but you’re right. There may be an easier way to test for COVID. Soon, you may be able to spit into a cup which would certainly be more comfortable for the patient and less dangerous for the healthcare provider who collects it.
Donna says she works at a liquor store in Brockton where she wears a mask and interacts with customers behind plexiglass. She asks, “Do I need to shower when I get home from work?”
It doesn’t sound like you’re coming in direct contact with customers, but you might feel better if you at least change your clothes when you return home. It’s unlikely that your clothes pose a risk, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to take them off and wash them after your shift.
William says he went to two restaurants with open-air kitchens where the staff was not wearing masks. “I am concerned that restaurants are not following all the guidelines.”
You don’t become infected with the coronavirus by eating food that may have been contaminated, by a cook, for example. But restaurants are putting their staff and potentially their patrons at risk, by not wearing masks. And we know that restaurants, depending on how they are operating, could be a significant source of spread. Outdoor dining is likely less risky than eating inside a restaurant.
Touze asks if it is safe to carpool now.
You are always taking a risk by being in an enclosed space with people you don’t live with, including in a car. If you are going to carpool, I suggest you all wear masks and keep the windows open as much as possible.

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