Two hairstylists in USA potentially exposed 140 people to coronavirus

Henrietta Brewer
May 25, 2020

According to reports, two hairstylists in Missouri who tested positive for coronavirus have potentially exposed at least 140 people to COVID-19. The stylist experienced "very mild symptoms" over five days between May 16 and Mat 29 but was deemed "potentially infectious" by the health department.

The case highlights the dangers of community spread in the United States as businesses reopen after weeks of restrictions to combat the spread of coronavirus.

The second hairstylist tested positive for COVID-19 only after they were alerted by the health department of possible exposure at their workplace, a Great Clips location on South Glenstone Avenue in central Springfield. The stylist and clients wore masks during the appointments, officials said.

While the individuals and their clients were wearing face coverings, local health authorities have advised the clients to watch for symptoms and self-isolate if sickness develops.

Health officials already started contacting the clients, utilizing the detailed records for each customer that Great Clips kept.

"We can't have many more of these", he said.

"We can't make this a regular habit or our capability as a community will be strained and we will have to reevaluate how things look going forward", he said.

Goddard said he was satisfied with Great Clips' deep cleaning measures and that he does consider the business to be safe despite the issue with infected stylists.

"The wellbeing of Great Clips customers and stylists in the salon is our top priority and proper sanitization has always been an important cosmetology industry practice for Great Clips salons".

Great Clips franchise owners Brittany Hager and Jennifer Small told Missouri's KY3 in a statement on Friday that the salon had closed to undergo "additional sanitizing and deep cleaning" in accordance with recommendations from the local health department and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Missouri has recorded almost 12,000 coronavirus cases and at least 683 deaths as of Sunday.

As of Saturday, May 23, more than 97,000 people had died of COVID-19 in the United States with the number of cases rising to 1.6 million according to Worldometers, a real-time statistics website.

Greene County, where Springfield is located, has seen a low incidence of COVID-19, with 121 confirmed cases and eight deaths.

With the second confirmed case, the total number of clients who were potentially exposed to the virus at the salon is 140.

It's unclear when the stylist tested positive but the infection is believed to have happened while traveling. The hairstylist also visited a Dairy Queen, Walmart and fitness center, officials said.

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