The Remarkable Case of the Missouri Hair Salon
How two hairstylists infected with Covid-19 did not spread new cases to 140 customers
Two hairstylists working at a Great Clips in Springfield, Missouri, were infected with the novel coronavirus but weren’t linked to any new cases among their 140 customers, likely thanks to the fact that they were wearing masks and taking Covid-19 precautions.
The story is being shared as an example of how wearing masks indoors is helpful for preventing the spread of the disease. Reports show that a hairstylist at the salon had 84 customers while the stylist was symptomatic. That hairstylist passed the virus to a coworker, who worked with 56 clients.
Testing was offered to every customer that was potentially exposed, and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department says that of the 46 people who pursued testing, all came back negative. The stylists did not spread the virus to their other coworkers, either. Regardless of testing, the health department says everyone potentially exposed was quarantined. While it’s possible that the people who did not get tested could have contracted the virus, the health department announced that the incubation period for the virus has ended and no one has tested positive or developed symptoms.
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department shared that the Great Clips salon likely prevented the spread of the disease by having stylists and customers wear masks, distancing the salon chairs, and staggering the appointments.
“This is exciting news about the value of masking to prevent Covid-19,” Clay Goddard, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department director of health, said in a statement. “We are studying more closely the details of these exposures, including what types of face coverings were worn and what other precautions were taken to lead to this encouraging result. We never want an exposure like this to happen, but this situation will greatly expand our understanding of how this novel coronavirus spreads.”