A hairdresser with a coronavirus worked eight days this month when he was symptomatic, exposing up to 91 clients and colleagues in Missouri, health officials said.
The case highlights threats of community spread in the United States as companies reopen after weeks of restrictions to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
In this case, the 84 exposed clients obtained services from the hairdresser at Great Clips, said Clay Goddard, director of the Springfield-Greene County health department. In addition to customers, seven colleagues were also made aware of the exposure.
It is not known when the stylist tested positive, but the infection was thought to have occurred while traveling. The stylist worked from May 12 to Wednesday, health officials said Friday. At the time, businesses such as hair salons and hair salons were allowed to operate in the state.
“The person and his clients were wearing face covers. The 84 clients potentially directly exposed will be informed by the Department of Health and will be offered tests, as will seven colleagues, “said the Springfield-Greene County health department in a statement. “It is the department’s hope that because the face covers were worn throughout this exposure period, no further cases will occur. “
Goddard did not provide details of the stylist’s identity or condition. He said health officials had contacted the exposed people, adding that the hairdresser had kept impeccable records that made it possible to locate the contacts.
But he warned of the risks of overwhelming resources.
“I will be honest with you: we cannot have much more,” he said at a press conference. “We cannot make it a regular habit or our capacity as a community will be strained. “
Health officials provided a detailed schedule of all the places the stylist visited, including a local Dairy Queen, Walmart, and CVS pharmacy.
They urged those who may have gone to these places to look for symptoms of the coronavirus.
Goddard said he was satisfied with the deep cleanup measures taken by Great Clips, adding that he now considers the business to be safe.
“The well-being of Great Clips customers and stylists in the salon is our top priority and proper disinfection has always been an important practice in the cosmetics industry for Great Clips salons. We have closed the employee’s living room and he’s undergoing additional sanitation and deep cleaning, “the company’s owners said in a statement to CNN’s affiliate, KYTV.
In the United States, more than 96,000 people have died from a coronavirus, where the number of confirmed cases exceeds 1.6 million, according to Johns Hopkins. Missouri has nearly 12,000 cases of infections and more than 600 deaths.
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