Hairstylist worked while symptomatic and exposed 91 people to COVID-19

Modesto Morganelli
Mag 24, 2020

A hair stylist in Missouri has potentially exposed 91 people to coronavirus after showing up to work sick and symptomatic for eight days, health officials said.

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

Between May 12 and May 20, a stylist at a Great Clips came in contact with 84 clients and seven coworkers, who now all will be tested for the coronavirus. In addition to the customers, seven coworkers were also notified of exposure.

Clay Goddard, the director of the Springfield-Greene county health department said contact tracing had began to identify people who had interacted with the stylist.

"The individual and their clients were wearing face coverings".

"I'll be honest, I'm very frustrated to be up here today, and maybe more so, I'm disappointed", said Springfield Greene-County Health Director Clay Goddard.

The health department hopes for no additional cases since the individual, co-workers and clients wore face masks throughout this exposure timeline.

Goddard did not provide details on the identity or the condition of the stylist.

"The hair stylist worked while sick", he said.

But he cautioned about the risks of overwhelming resources. "We can't make this a regular habit or our capability as a community will be strained and we will have to reevaluate what things look like going forward".

The paper reported that hair salon's owners issued a statement saying that the location had been closed to undergo sanitizing and "deep cleaning" under guidelines provided by the county health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The well-being 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. "We've closed the salon where the employee works and it's now undergoing additional sanitizing and deep cleaning", the owners of the business said in a statement to CNN affiliate KYTV.

That is the equivalent to one confirmed case for every 2,422 residents, compared to a hotspot like New York City, where the number is 1 in 42.

Gov. Mike Parson lifted numerous state's stay-at-home order on May 4; the state has more than 11,500 diagnosed cases and almost 700 deaths.

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