Missouri Hairsylist with COVID-19 Exposes 91 People at Reopened Salon

The stylist worked at the Great Clips salon from May 12 to May 20.

A Missouri hairstylist with coronavirus worked for eight days while symptomatic, exposing up to 91 people, health officials said Friday.

The female stylist, who works at a Great Clips salon in Springfield, serviced 84 clients while working alongside seven co-workers, said Clay Goddard, director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, per CNN.

Though officials didn’t disclose the hair stylist’s condition or identity, they said she worked at the Great Clips salon from May 12 through May 20. It’s unclear when she tested positive for the virus and where she contracted it.

While no other positive cases connected to the stylist have been reported, all of those exposed at the salon will be offered tests.

“The individual and their clients were wearing face coverings. The 84 clients potentially directly exposed will be notified by the Health Department and be offered testing, as will seven coworkers,” the Health Department said in a statement. “It is the hope of the department that because face coverings were worn throughout this exposure timeline, no additional cases will result.”

“I’m going to be honest with you: We can’t have many more of these,” Goddard added at a news conference. “We can’t make this a regular habit or our capabilities as a community will be strained.”

The owners of the Great Clips location issued a statement to CNN affiliate KYTV.

“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. We’ve closed the salon where the employee works and it’s currently undergoing additional sanitizing and deep cleaning.”

The case in Missouri sheds light on the threat of community spread as businesses start to reopen across the U.S., where over 96,000 people have died from the coronavirus and more than 1.6 million cases have been reported.

Missouri has over 11,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nearly 600 deaths. In the state, many businesses, including hair salons and barber shops, have been permitted to reopen. However, their current plan is in place until May 31, so it’s unclear if it will be amended after the Great Clips outbreak.

[via TooFab]

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