Hairstylist with COVID-19 served 84 clients while symptomatic, Missouri officials say

Henrietta Strickland
May 25, 2020

Two Missouri hairstylists at the same salon have potentially directly exposed 147 people to coronavirus after working on clients while showing symptoms for COVID-19.

All 50 states have now eased some lockdown restrictions, even though many have yet to see the 14-day downward trend in new cases that the White House has recommended states observe in order to begin reopening safely.

It was revealed the infected stylists, based in Missouri, worked for over a week while exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 before testing positive.

Clay Goddard, director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, said the salon kept impeccable records that are being used for contact tracing. As many as 84 clients and seven employees at a Great Clips in Springfield may have been exposed from May 12 to May 20, according to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. The clients and the stylists all wore face coverings, the Health Department said. The health department said it hoped "because face coverings were worn throughout this exposure timeline, no additional cases will result". Those clients have been urged to watch out for symptoms.

The health department director said the incident does not affect the community's "recovery plan" but warned of similar scenarios as the reopening phases turn from mandates to personal responsibility.

'I'm going to be honest with you: We can't have many more of these, ' Goddard said at a news conference.

In a statement to KYTV, the owners of the Great Clips claimed they were pleased with the cleaning measures adopted by the salon, saying the business should be considered "safe" to return to. They did not provide details on the symptoms they had or when they tested positive.

"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.

The owners of the affected Great Clips, Brittany Hager and Jennifer Small, reporting the salon would be closed as it undergoes "additional sanitizing and deep cleaning" with guidance from the local health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

The same situation exists for people who were at four stores where the woman and an unrelated symptomatic case recently visited: a Dairy Queen, a Walmart, a local gym, and a CVS.

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

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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