After two Missouri hairstylists tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in May and potentially exposed up to 140 customers, local officials say no new cases have been linked to the salon.
On Monday, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department announced that, following the two-week incubation period, none of the clients or coworkers at the Great Clips location have contracted the respiratory virus.
"This is exciting news about the value of masking to prevent COVID-19," Clay Goddard, the department's director of health, said in a press release. "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," continued Goddard, "but this situation will greatly expand our understanding of how this novel coronavirus spreads."
The Great Clips salon required masks and had been following the chain's guidelines and procedures for placing salon chairs farther apart as well as staggering appointments.
According to the local health officials, testing was made available to customers and coworkers who were in contact with the two employees. Forty-six of them were tested — with negative results — while all who were exposed were quarantined.
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The first stylist who tested positive for the virus had worked from May 12 through May 20, Today reported last month. A second worker tested positive on May 23. Hair salons in the state were among the first establishments allowed to reopen beginning May 4 under Missouri's initial recovery phase.
In the United States, total confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now surpassed a tally of 2 million. According to data compiled by The New York Times, more than 2,010,900 people have been infected and more than 113,000 have died as of Thursday morning. Missouri has seen 15,662 cases across the state and 861 deaths.
New cases of COVID-19 have spiked in 21 states and territories following Memorial Day weekend, as many areas continue to push to reopen.
In Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Washington, new COVID-19 cases are trending sharply upward, The Times reported.
And several other states — like Arizona, Utah, Texas and North Carolina — are experiencing the highest number of new daily cases, even more than they had in April at the nationwide height of the outbreak.
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