KEY POINTS

  • Two hairstylists in Missouri may have exposed 140 clients to COVID-19
  • The first stylist potentially exposed 84 clients to the virus
  • The second may have also exposed 56 more customers
  • Both Great Clips stylists were symptomatic

Local health officials in Missouri are claiming that two hairstylists who showed up for work this month potentially exposed 140 customers to COVID-19.

The Springfield-Greene Health Department announced Friday that a hairstylist who contracted COVID-19, the virus caused by the novel coronavirus, had potentially exposed 84 clients at a Great Clips in Springfield.

Health Director Clay Goddard said the salon employee may have contracted the virus when traveling to a “high-intensity” are in Missouri, according to ABC News.

Hair salons have been allowed to reopen in Germany Hair salons have been allowed to reopen in Germany Photo: AFP / THOMAS KIENZLE

The department then added another case Saturday, saying that a second hairstylist who tested positive for COVID-19 may have also exposed 56 clients to the virus.

Both were symptomatic while they were working. The first Great Clips hairstylist also exposed seven co-workers to COVID-19, said CNN.

As the state of Missouri – and the rest of the United States – reopened their economy after stay-at-home restrictions were eased after a two months of various orders, salons and barbershops were allowed to operate, much to the delight of their clients.

Despite the reopening, certain protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were still in place. The stylists, who worked from the second week of May to Wednesday, and their customers all wore face coverings.

All 140 clients and the seven co-workers will be notified and offered testing, said health officials, adding that they be on the “lookout for symptoms.”

“It is the hope of the department that because face coverings were worn throughout this exposure timeline, no additional cases will result,” it said, through CNN.

After the news of the first case, Great Clips franchisees and CM Clips, LLC co-owners Brittany Hager and Jennifer Small told KY3 that proper sanitation and the well-being of its customers have always been the top priority of Great Clips salons.

“We've closed the salon where the employee works and it's currently undergoing additional sanitizing and deep cleaning with guidance from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and the CDC.

“We will reopen the salon based on guidance from the health department,” the co-owners said in a statement.

Although airing his frustrations over the new cases, Goddard acknowledged the efforts of Great Clips by deep cleaning its facilities.

“I'm going to be honest with you: We can't have any more of these. We can't make this a regular habit or our capabilities as a community will be strained,” he said.