Hair stylists exposed 140 people to coronavirus after ignoring symptoms and going to work

TWO hair stylists have exposed more than 140 clients and staff to coronavirus by ignoring symptoms and working at a reopened salon, warn health chiefs in Missouri.

There’s a mad scramble to track down those who might have picked up the killer bug while at a Great Clips hair salon in Springfield.

 There's panic after scores of people were exposed to potentially deadly coronavirus in Springfield, Missouri
There’s panic after scores of people were exposed to potentially deadly coronavirus in Springfield, MissouriCredit: Reuters

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has issued an urgent notification of the potential exposure “from Covid-19 individuals”.

On May 22, health bosses said that a hair stylist at Great Clips “worked while symptomatic.

“The 84 clients potentially directly exposed will be notified by the Health Department and be offered testing, as will seven coworkers.”

Then, just one day later, the department admitted that another salon worker had contracted the bug, exposing a further “56 clients”.

Its notification reads: “A second hair stylist from the Great Clips at 1864 S. Glenstone Ave has tested positive for Covid-19.

“At this time, this is the only other positive result we have had from those tested as a result of the previous exposure.”

This stylist worked “while experiencing very mild but potentially infectious symptoms”.

 Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard comments on stylists who tested positive for coronavirus disease
Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard comments on stylists who tested positive for coronavirus diseaseCredit: KY3

The department has provided a list of dates both stylists could have spread the virus while at the salon.

As a result, 140 clients and about seven staff are feared to be at risk as the pair worked from May 12-21.

CNN points out that the exposure is one of the obvious risks to the public following the relaxation of lockdown measures, and the reopening of businesses during the deadly pandemic.

Clay Goddard, director of Springfield-Greene County Health, told reporters: “I’m gong to be honest with you, we can’t have many more of these [virus exposures].

“We can’t make this a regular habit or our capabilities as a community will be strained.”

 Great Clips says on Facebook that 'masks are required to enter the salon'
Great Clips says on Facebook that ‘masks are required to enter the salon’

Health bosses said that both hair stylists, and their 140 clients were wearing face coverings.

All those “potentially directly exposed will be notified by the Health Department and be offered testing,” they added.

Those affected have been “advised to watch for symptoms, but there is no need to self-quarantine or isolate unless symptoms develop”.

On Great Clips’ Facebook page, a manager posted about reopening the business, and thanked clients for their “patience as we try to accommodate everyone while also doing everything in our power to give you a safe, sanitary service.

“We love our clients and our company and look forward to perfecting our new process in such a way that everyone feels safe and looks great!”

The revelation about the potential exposure comes days after attorneys for the family of a Missouri nurse who died from Covid-19 filed a claim for death benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation laws.

Celia Yap-Banago, 69, died on April 21 after caring for a patient with coronavirus at Research Medical Center in Kansas City.

Her family, attorneys and the National United Nurses Union contend she died because she and other nurses at the hospital did not have adequate personal protective equipment while caring for patients with the bug.

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