Hair Stylist With COVID-19 Worked While Symptomatic, Exposed Clients to Virus

May 23, 2020 Updated: May 23, 2020

A hair stylist in Missouri worked eight days while experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, health officials said, directly exposing 84 clients to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

The virus from China causes COVID-19, a disease.

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.

“One of our new cases returned from travel and then worked as a hair stylist for eight days while symptomatic,” he said.

The woman served 84 customers and might have exposed them to the virus, along with seven co-workers.

Health officials already started contacting the clients, utilizing the detailed records for each customer that Great Clips kept. The co-workers will all be tested for the CCP virus.

“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.

It’s still safe to go to Great Clips, according to health officials.

Customers who weren’t served by the woman are thought to have a low risk of contracting the CCP virus. Those people should still monitor themselves for symptoms. They don’t have to self-isolate unless they develop symptoms.

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.

Symptoms of the CCP virus include cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath, and muscle pain. Officials believe around one in three patients never show symptoms while others experience mild or moderate symptoms. Some patients, primarily the elderly or people with serious pre-existing conditions such as kidney disease, require hospital care. A small percentage of patients ultimately die.

Brittany Hager and Jennifer Small, co-owners of the Great Clips location, which is situated on Glenstone Avenue in Springfield, said in a statement obtained by KY3 that they recently learned about the employee testing positive.

“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,” they said.

“We’ve closed the salon where the employee works and it’s currently undergoing additional sanitizing and deep cleaning consistent with guidance from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and the CDC. We will reopen the salon based on guidance from the health department.”

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