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’m confused how MA numbers are still 240-450 daily when masks seem to be the norm. Who are the people still getting infected? Are they people who are not wearing a mask?” Aimee on Facebook 

Masks are key to controlling this pandemic right now. But as we know, even in Massachusetts where most people are compliant, not everyone wears a mask when they should, putting other people in harm’s way. Plus, we know adults and kids continue to gather in large groups and in indoor spaces which raises the risk of infection. And we expect that cases will climb further as children return to the classroom.

“My husband and I would appreciate your thoughts on the effectiveness of using air purifiers.” – A viewer

According to researchers, home air purifiers may provide a little extra protection against COVID. They are not a substitute for masks and social distancing, but if someone in your home is sick or could be infected, an air purifier may help reduce the risk of transmission.

“If everyone is mandated to wear masks, can you go to a casino if you have no pre-existing conditions?” – Greg

When you go to a casino, even if everyone is wearing a mask, you’re with a relatively large number of people in an enclosed space for a prolonged period of time. And you’re often touching slot machines or other surfaces that others have been touching as well. If you’re at high risk for COVID, I would definitely avoid going to a casino at this time. If you’re low risk and you’re determined to go, take hand sanitizer and stay as far away from other people as possible.

“My question is about masks. There are so many available in every color and design. How do you determine which ones are safe and effective to wear and which to avoid wearing?” -Sue

You want to find a mask that is comfortable, made with 2-3 layers of fabric, and one that will fit snug on your face, covering your nose and fitting under your chin. Disposable or reusable masks are both fine, but avoid masks made out of thin material.


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