A hair stylist in Springfield, Missouri, exposed a large number of people to the coronavirus after working in a salon for eight days while posing, health officials said Friday.
Exposed includes 84 Great Clip customers and, potentially, seven co-workers, said Clay Goddard, director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. The stylist’s condition, which has not been identified, has not been disclosed.
So far, no other positive case connected to the stylist has been confirmed, but the county faces “a glut of cases,”; Goddard said.
Those exposed at the salon will be given tests.
“The good news is that both the clients and the hairylists are masked” at the time of exposure, he said.
Goddard said at a news conference on Friday that many cases like this would hasten Springfield’s ability to care for patients.
“The hair stylist is working while sick,” he said. “Let me be honest with you: We don’t have many of these.”
Under Missouri’s pandemic reopening, hair salons are allowed to operate.
He warned residents who had recently visited the same locations as the stylist, including a Dairy Queen, a Walmart and a CVS pharmacy, to look for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate themselves if they develop.
The stylist worked May 12 through Wednesday and tested positive, health officials said.
Co-owners of the Great Clips location told NBC affiliate KYTV that the employee was “following medical advice and taking appropriate action.
The salon is closed for sanitizing and clean cleaning, they said. Goddard said he was pleased with the location’s response and it’s “safe to go there” today.
The patient is believed to have contracted the virus while traveling to other parts of the state, Goddard said.