Update: It's been more than a month since a Great Clips salon in Missouri potentially exposed 140 customers to the coronavirus after two hairstylists working at the salon tested positive for the virus. Luckily, it has been reported by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department that no confirmed cases have been linked to the Great Clips location.
"This is exciting news about the value of masking to prevent COVID-19," said Director of Health Clay Goddard. "We are studying more closely the details of these exposures, including what types of face coverings were worn and what other precautions were taken to lead to this encouraging result. We never want an exposure like this to happen, but this situation will greatly expand our understanding of how this novel coronavirus spreads."
Original post: Missouri started reopening all nonessential businesses, including close-contact services like hair salons, with restrictions on May 4 after closing due to the coronavirus. Now, just three weeks later, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department announced that two hairstylists working at a Great Clips salon in the area have tested positive for COVID-19.
According to officials, the first infected hairstylist saw 84 clients over the course of eight days and the second stylist saw 56 clients after working for five days. This resulted in directly exposing 140 people to the virus. Additionally, the two salon workers were around seven coworkers while contagious. Both the infected hairstylists and the clients they saw were wearing face-mask coverings.
It has been reported that the hairstylists were experiencing minor symptoms during their shifts, despite guidelines posted by health officials and the Missouri Board of Cosmetology stating employees shouldn't work if they're experiencing signs of illness.
"The franchise owners have closed the salon to undergo additional sanitization and deep cleaning, consistent with guidance from health officials," a Great Clips spokesperson said in a statement to NBC. COVID-19 testing has been offered by the Health Department to all of the clients exposed to the virus, and so far, only one has come back positive.
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