Second Missouri stylist who worked with coronavirus symptoms tests positive; 147 clients, co-workers exposed

Great Clips in Springfield, Missouri (Google Maps)

Two Missouri hairstylists at the same salon have potentially directly exposed 147 people to coronavirus after working on clients while showing symptoms for COVID-19.

The Springfield-Greene Health Department announced Saturday that a second stylist at a Great Clips in Springfield has tested positive for COVID-19.

The stylist, who worked May 16-20 “while experiencing very mild symptoms but potentially infectious,” has potentially exposed 56 clients to the virus.

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

A day earlier, the health department announced the first stylist at the same location at 1864 S. Glenstone Ave. had tested positive. While symptomatic, that individual worked May 12-20, potentially exposing 84 clients and seven co-workers.

Both stylists, as well as all their clients, wore masks. The health department said it hoped “because face coverings were worn throughout this exposure timeline, no additional cases will result.”

“We are hopeful that their strictly enforced policy of masking will prevent any future spread from this case. They also kept detailed records that have made contact tracing a speedy process,” Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard said Friday.

Contact tracing investigators helped track down customers who were potentially exposed to the virus. Those people will be notified by the health department and offered testing.

The department said anyone else who was at the hair salon on those dates is believed to be at very low risk.

Those individuals are advised to watch for symptoms, but there is no need to self-quarantine or isolate unless symptoms develop, the department said in a press release. Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.

Missouri hair salons, among some other non-essential businesses shuttered during a statewide stay-at-home order, were cleared to reopen on May 4, according to the Kansas City Star.

The Great Clips location was closed to undergo sanitizing and deep cleaning under guidelines provided by the county health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the newspaper reported, citing a statement from the salon owners.

Goddard praised the owners for their swift action, and said the salon was now safe for business.

Missouri, as of Sunday, has recorded at least 11,558 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 671 deaths, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.