By Adrienne Moore

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — First, it was St. Patrick’s Day, then Easter, and now Mother’s Day celebrations are being impacted by COVID-19. But as California moves into phase 2, should you visit mom virtually or in person?

It can feel like a tough call if you live close to your mom or grandma, especially with restrictions starting to loosen. But doctors say the greatest gift we can give to our mothers this year — just to be safe — is to stay away.

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While families that live far away from mom or grandma have a simple choice, call or video chat, many others don’t and are worried that a visit could lead to a hospital stay after Mother’s Day.

“The bottom line is: Use common sense based on the health of your mom or your grandma,” Sacramento County Health Director Dr. Peter Beilenson said.

So, if you typically meet mom at a restaurant, should you order take-out and eat together at home, instead? Dr. Beilenson say that depends.

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“If your mom or your grandma have been in your household all along, in sort of sheltering in place and staying home with all of you, you can certainly celebrate in whatever fashion you want,” Dr. Beilenson said. “For those who don’t live with a family member that are under 65 and don’t have health conditions, then a brief visit is allowable.”

If you live apart, but are still close enough for an in-person visit, use your best judgment.

“There should probably be alternative ways of paying respects to them,” Dr. Beilenson said.

Dr. Beilenson suggests meeting on opposite sides of a window and leaving gifts or flowers at the door if your loved one is in the hospital or assisted living facility.

It’s a challenging time, putting a twist on family traditions, where there can be strength in showing restraint.

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If you’re worried about cross-contamination by leaving gifts or flowers outside for mom or grandma to pick up, Dr. Beilenson says: don’t be. He says the likelihood of them becoming infected through touching those items is extremely low.

Adrienne Moore