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Your coronavirus questions answered: My wife has a barbershop and washes and sanitizes everything. Can she still be open for business?

A patient is tested by a healthcare professional at a drive-thru testing site for COVID-19 at United Memorial Medical Center Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Houston. For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
A patient is tested by a healthcare professional at a drive-thru testing site for COVID-19 at United Memorial Medical Center Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Houston. For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

We’ve received questions from Houstonians on concerns with COVID-19 and shared them with Vivian Nriagu, MD, Partner/Owner Memorial Village Emergency Room who is also a longtime physician with experience working in Houston trauma centers and emergency rooms.

She took the time to answer some of your questions from readers:

I work at a large apartment complex in the office. Should I have to go to work? I’m scared I will get sick from dealing with the public.

Consider working remotely if that is an option for you. Otherwise, social distancing means being careful. Maintain a distance of six feet from others, do not touch your face with your hands, wash your hands, wipe down your environment, avoid touching people in the apartment complex.

My wife has a barbershop, She washes and sanitizes everything after finishing with each customer. Can she still open for business?

Can she still open for business? Yes; Should she still open for business...No! Everyone needs to do what they can to prevent the spread of infection. Here are some tips for salons that choose to stay open:

  • Urge clients who don’t feel well or who are just uncomfortable to stay home
  • -Limit customers to appointments only to control the number of individuals in the salon at any given time
  • Sanitize everything
  • Wash your hands and encourage customers to wash their hands before and after appointment

Is door to door testing possible? You could knock out testing, census and blood draw all in one. And cruise ships as hospitals?

I think this could potentially open the door to people being robbed by scammers. It also has the potential to exponentially increase the spread of Covid-19 if the phlebotomist is infected with Covid-19.

Where do those without insurance and/or no primary care doctor go to get information and potentially testing for Covid-19?

There is a free drive-through coronavirus testing site in North Houston. It is located at the United Memorial Medical Center (510 W. Tidwell in North Houston).

Why can’t we use all of the cruise ships as hospitals?

The focus should be on supporting the healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, phlebotomist, housekeepers) who are putting their lives and the lives of their loved ones at risk to fight this global pandemic. The focus should be ensuring that surgical masks and protective equipment are available at every hospital in USA. The focus should be ensuring that we have enough testing for all patients and enough ventilators for sick patients. Another hospital, on land or in the sea, is not the answer.