A Missouri Great Clips hairstylist has been accused of knowingly exposing dozens of people to coronavirus, according to a recent report by Faith Karimi of CNN. The hairstylist, who has not been named by officials, allegedly exposed 84 clients and seven coworkers to the virus. The Springfield, Missouri worker was showing symptoms of having the disease while working with clients at the Great Clips shop.
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department reported Friday that the hairstylist also went to several restaurants and stores, such as Walmart and Dairy Queen. Missouri opened salons and barbershops on May 4. The hairstylist reportedly showed symptoms of being sick over an eight-day period from May 12 to May 20. The worker did wear a mask while working with clients, and it was reported that all customers were required to wear masks as well.
The county health department said it is testing everyone exposed to the infected person. The department said anyone that hasn't been contacted by them yet in regard to this incident should be considered "low risk."
Great Clips issued a statement shortly after the story was made public. The company said it shut down the location in question and is giving the store a deep cleaning.
"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," the owners said in the statement.
County Health Commissioner Clay Goddard said he was frustrated by the actions of the employee but was happy to see the Great Clips owners acting so swiftly and definitively. He added the shutdown of that location does not affect the plans of reopening in the community. He did add people should be aware there are chances similar situations could pop up as Missouri continues to loosen coronavirus restrictions.
"I'm going to be honest with you: We can't have many more of these. We can't make this a regular habit or our capability as a community will be strained and we will have to re-evaluate what things look like going forward," Goddard said, according to KY3.
He added that everyone in the community has a responsibility to be more cautious. As The Inquisitr reported earlier this month, the Great Clips incident isn't the first coronavirus flare-up since the state reopened. On the same day Missouri started lifting restrictions, a report showed that more than 400 workers at an area pork processing plant tested positive for COVID-19. Many of those never showed any symptoms.