Coronavirus: Two hairstylists expose 140 clients to COVID-19

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Two hairstylists who tested positive for COVID-19 may have exposed 140 customers to the virus.

The stylists worked at the same Great Clips salon location in Springfield, Missouri.

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One COVID-positive stylist continued going to work despite experiencing symptoms of the virus for eight days, exposing 84 clients and seven colleagues, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department announced Friday.

A second COVID-positive stylist at the salon “potentially directly exposed” 56 more clients after working for five days while “experiencing very mild symptoms," health department officials said.

The business was legally open in accordance with Missouri’s reopening guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The stylists and their clients were wearing face coverings, a policy that was enforced by the Great Clips staff.

A team of contact tracers are working to contact anyone else the stylists might have come in close contact with. According to the county health department, the stylist who first tested positive for the virus also visited a local Dairy Queen, a Walmart and a gym.

“This scenario is well within our capacity of our staff to contact trace and hopefully contain,” Clay Goddard, Springfield-Greene County Health Department director, said in a news conference. “But I’m going to be honest with you, we can’t have many more of these. We can’t make this a regular habit or our capability as a community will be strained and we will have to reevaluate what things look like going forward.”

The salon closed temporarily for a deep cleaning.

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