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

Henrietta Strickland
May 24, 2020

A hairstylist who was infected with coronavirus and was asymptomatic has exposed 91 customers and co-workers to the deadly virus.

Officials say that the hair stylist had 84 clients during the eight days, and potentially exposed another seven coworkers.

"We hope that this is an overly cautious approach as, thankfully, both our case and all of the clients of our case were wearing masks during their haircuts", Goddard said, praising Great Clips for stringent safety requirements, including making everyone wear facial coverings.

Calling himself "frustrated" and "disappointed", Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard said at a press conference Friday that he needed to notify the public to potential community exposure.

The stylist, who has not been identified, worked shifts at the Great Clips in Springfield from May 8 to May 12 after traveling to another part of Missouri with a higher intensity of cases.

Under Missouri's pandemic reopening, hair salons are allowed to operate. The health department is providing testing to all people "directly exposed" to the hairstylist.

"We've closed the salon where the employee works and it's now undergoing additional sanitizing and deep cleaning consistent with guidance from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and the CDC".

The co-owners of the Great Clips location told NBC affiliate KYTV that the employee "is following medical advice and taking appropriate actions".

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. Goddard said he was pleased with the location's response and that it's "safe to go there" now.

'This scenario is well within the ability of our staff to contact trace and contain.

"We are hopeful that their strictly-enforced policy of masking will prevent any future spread from this case. We've closed the salon where the employee works and it's now undergoing additional sanitizing and deep cleaning", they told KYTV. We can't have many more of these.

"I think we need to comprehend the consequences of this", Goddard said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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