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A customer who was potentially exposed to the coronavirus at a Great Clips in Missouri is speaking out after two hairstylists at the barbershop allegedly worked with COVID-19 symptoms before testing positive for the virus, reports said.
Erik Chase said he was informed by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department on Saturday that he may have been in contact with someone who tested positive at the barbershop. He’s one of the dozens of clients being tracked down by contact tracing investigators after they were potentially exposed
“Now I’m someone directly affected by COVID and I never thought that it would be so close to home,” Chase told KY3 News. “It’s a big deal. It definitely gives me great concern.”
Chase visited the Great Clips in Springfield on May 17, where he saw all customers were wearing masks, but some stylists who were not. He added that the stylist who cut his hair was not wearing gloves. Health officials previously stated that both stylists, as well as all their clients, wore masks.
He’s one of the 147 people that could have been exposed to the virus at the hair salon, according to health officials. Chase said he’s one of the 84 clients that got their hair cut by a hairstylist that worked from May 12-20. Seven co-workers were potentially infected during that time.
“They should’ve stayed home,” he told the website. “I also think that the employer had a great responsibility that if one of their employees wasn’t feeling well, especially with this pandemic, to send their employee home.”
The other stylist potentially exposed 56 clients to the virus after working from May 16-20 “while experiencing very mild symptoms but potentially infectious.”
“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.
Chase said from the time he entered the Great Clips to the day he was actually notified, he contacted roughly 15 to 20 people.
“So I don’t think that the story is ending any time soon, I think the saga continues,” Chase added, according to the report.
He told the website that health officials advised him to stay at home until May 31. Chase said he needs to take his temperature twice a day and provide updates with the health department before he’s tested for the virus this week.
Great Clips Inc. later provided a statement to KY3 News.
“Both stylists are following medical advice and taking appropriate actions, and the local health department notified individuals who came in close contact with those stylists. The franchise owners have closed the salon to undergo additional sanitization and deep cleaning, consistent with guidance from health officials,” the statement said.
Missouri hair salons and other non-essential businesses were ordered to close during the state’s stay-at-home order. They were cleared to reopen on May 4, according to the Kansas City Star.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report