Second Missouri hairstylist who worked while showing coronavirus symptoms tests positive after coworker, bringing total number of potentially exposed clients to 140
- The Springfield-Greene Health Department announced on Saturday that a second hairstylist tested positive for COVID-19 at a Great Clips location
- That stylist potentially exposed 56 clients to the virus
- It came one day after officials said another stylist at the same salon potentially exposed 84 customers and seven coworkers
- Both stylists who were not named, were symptomatic when they were at work from the second week of May until Wednesday May 20
- All staff and customers at the salon wore face coverings, officials said
- The health department is working to contact potentially infected clients
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Two hairstylists at a salon in Missouri potentially exposed 140 clients to COVID-19 when they worked for up to eight days despite showing symptoms of the virus, health officials say.
The Springfield-Greene Health Department announced Saturday that a second hairstylist tested positive for coronavirus and may have exposed 56 clients at the same Great Clips shop where another infected stylist potentially exposed 84 customers and seven coworkers.
Officials said both stylists, who were not named, were symptomatic when they were at work, but did not say when they tested positive.
The alarming case comes amid mounting concerns about community spread in the US as businesses reopen after weeks of coronavirus-related closures and restrictions.
Two hairstylists at this Great Clips in Springfield, Missouri, potentially exposed 140 clients to COVID-19 when they worked for up to eight days despite showing symptoms of the virus
The health department said the stylists worked from the second week of May until Wednesday, May 20, after the state allowed many non-essential businesses to reopen on May 4.
All staff and customers at the salon wore face coverings, officials said.
‘It is the hope of the department that because face coverings were worn throughout this exposure timeline, no additional cases will result,’ the health department said in a statement.
Officials are now working to contact all the people who were exposed so they can get tested. Those clients have been urged to watch out for symptoms.
Clay Goddard, director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, said the salon kept impeccable records that are being used for contact tracing.
However, he warned that the state could easily be overwhelmed should similar cases crop up.
‘I’m going to be honest with you: We can’t have many more of these,’ Goddard said at a news conference.
‘We can’t make this a regular habit or our capabilities as a community will be strained.’
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 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,’ the salon’s owners said in a statement to KYTV.
‘We’ve closed the salon where the employee works and it’s currently undergoing additional sanitizing and deep cleaning.’
Clay Goddard, director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, said the salon kept impeccable records that are being used for contact tracing
Missouri has recorded nearly 12,000 coronavirus cases and at least 683 deaths as of Sunday.
Nationwide, there are more than 1.62 million confirmed cases and 97,087 deaths.
Greene County, where Springfield is located, has seen a low incidence of COVID-19, with 121 confirmed cases and eight deaths.
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.
The first stylist to test positive had reportedly visited another part of Missouri with a higher rate of infection.
The department said that stylist also visited a fitness center, Dairy Queen and Walmart while potentially contagious.
It’s unclear whether the second stylist contracted the virus from the first or from another location.