A Missouri hairstylist exposed 91 people to the novel coronavirus after working in a salon for more than a week while feeling sick, health officials said.
The stylist tested positive for the virus and was working at a Great Clips in Springfield from May 12 through May 20, Today reported. The infected worker, who was not identified, exposed 84 customers and possibly seven coworkers, said Clay Goddard, director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
Then on May 23, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department said a second hairstylist at the same salon tested positive for coronavirus. "At this time, this is the only other positive result we have had from those tested as a result of the previous exposure," officials said. "The individual and their clients were wearing face coverings. The 56 clients potentially directly exposed will be notified by the Health Department and be offered testing."
Hair salons in the state were allowed to reopen beginning May 4 under Missouri's initial recovery phase.
Those who recently went to the same locations as the infected stylists, including a Walmart, CVS pharmacy and a Dairy Queen, were encouraged to keep an eye out for any coronavirus symptoms and to follow proper precautions should they feel sick.
According to Goddard, health officials believe one of the stylists contracted the virus while traveling in a different area of Missouri.
"The good news is both the clients and the hairstylists were masked," Goddard said of those exposed at the salon.
The Great Clips location closed for sanitizing and deep cleaning after learning of the sick employee, the co-owners of the salon told KYTV, adding that the stylist is currently "following medical advice and taking appropriate actions."
Goddard noted that it is now "safe to go" back to the location.
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