Despite having symptoms of COVID-19, two Missouri hairstylists who continued to attend to clients tested positive for COVID-19, yet none of their 139 clients have caught the virus.
COVID-19 is known to be easily spread through respiratory droplets and fomites or inanimate objects where the virus thrives, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Thus, many people are wondering how the spread of infection was avoided in setting where the stylists who tested positive had physical contact with almost all their clients but has spread the disease to nobody.
How It Happened
To answer the questions, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a case report. It was stated in the report that the spread of the virus inside the shop where the stylists worked was avoided due to the fact that everyone inside the shop wore masks.
In addition, the CDC noted that both the stylists and the customers followed the imposed policy in the salon which asked everyone to wear masks. This is also in accordance with the ordinance by the local City of Springfield which recommended that during haircuts masks should be worn by both client and stylist.
According to The New York Times, the stylists continued to work for eight days from the onset of symptoms on the first stylists until they got their results back. Health officials called out the stylists for doing so saying that they should not have worked during those times in order to avoid spreading the disease.
After this, the officials traced all the customers that the two have served during that period. They were then closely monitored and tested. Thus, it came out as a pleasant surprise that none of the customers seemed to have contracted the virus.
In a statement by Toronto General Hospital's Dr. Isaac Bogoch who is a specialist on infectious diseases, the incident in Missouri proves what is already known and what the medical professionals have reiterated, which is " masks are very helpful in preventing the spread of COVID-19."
Dr. Bogoch also stated that he believes that the key element that protected the clients from catching the virus from the hairdressers is that both the stylists were wearing masks. He also emphasized that in order to help prevent the virus from being passed on to others it is recommended that people wear masks. However there has been little evidence that supports that wearing masks protects one from being infected, Global Times CA reported.
Despite this, with everyone in the salon wearing masks, it also helped prevent the spread of the disease from customers who were possibly infected to the others.
Health experts have recommended wearing masks since the pandemic erupted. However, many people have opposed doing so, not believing the claims that masks can protect them from the virus. This particular case proves that the recommendation of the experts has been right all along and that following the advice of professionals may be what will save everyone from the pandemic.
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