A hairdresser exposed 91 people to coronavirus after ignoring symptoms of the disease and continuing to work. The unnamed stylist may have infected as many as 84 customers and seven colleagues by working at Great Clips salon in Springfield, Missouri, while they had Covid-19.
They are believed to have picked up the virus while traveling, then worked from May 12 until Wednesday May 21. Salons in Missouri were permitted to open throughout that period. Health officials have yet to say whether anyone who came into contact with the crimper has since tested positive for Covid-19.
A spokesman for Springfield-Greene’s County Health Department said: ‘The individual and their clients were wearing face coverings. The 84 clients potentially directly exposed will be notified by the Health Department and be offered testing, as will seven co-workers.
‘It is the hope of the department that because face coverings were worn throughout this exposure timeline, no additional cases will result.’
Department director Clay Goddard urged anyone else who believed themselves to be infected with Covid-19 to follow self-isolation guidelines, saying: ‘I’ll be honest, I’m very frustrated to be up here today, and maybe more so I’m disappointed. I think we need to comprehend the consequences of this.
Visit our live blog for the latest updates: Coronavirus news live
‘We can’t have many more of these. We can’t make this a regular habit or our capabilities as a community will be strained.’
Officials said ‘meticulous’ records kept by the hairstylist made it possible to track all those exposed. They hope the fact that he or she wore a mask while at work may have stopped anyone else from becoming infected with coronavirus, KYTV reported.
A detailed list of other businesses the employee visited have also been shared, including a drug store and ice cream parlor, with any other locals who visited urged to keep an eye out for possible coronavirus symptoms. All locations visited by the super-spreader – including their workplace – have since been deep-cleaned.
A Great Clips spokesman said: ‘The wellbeing of Great Clips customers and stylists in the salon is our top priority and proper sanitization has always been an important cosmetology industry practice for Great Clips salons.
‘We’ve closed the salon where the employee works and it’s currently undergoing additional sanitizing and deep cleaning.’
Missouri has so far seen over 12,000 coronavirus diagnoses and 600 deaths. The United States has diagnosed 1.6million people with Covid-19, and over 96,000 have died as a result.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more stories like this, check our news page