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Last updated: July 14, 2020

Face Masks Stopped Coronavirus Spread At Hair Salon, CDC Reports

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Wearing Face Masks Helped Stop COVID-19 Spread At A Salon

Two hairdressers who saw more than a hundred clients while experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 did not spread the virus to clients or other hairdressers in the salon, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it’s likely because of face mask use.


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The Details

In early May, a stylist at a Springfield, Mo. salon developed respiratory symptoms and continued working with clients for 8 days, before receiving a positive result for COVID-19. A second stylist who interacted with the first stylist also developed respiratory symptoms and worked with clients before getting a positive test result. During the stylist-to-stylist interaction, neither wore face coverings.


A total of 139 clients were directly serviced by both stylists from the time they developed symptoms until they took leave from work. Both coronavirus-positive stylists wore either surgical masks or double-layered cotton face coverings for all client interactions, according to a CDC report.


What Happened Next

Both stylists and the 139 clients followed the City of Springfield’s ordinance and salon policy that recommended face coverings. Other stylists at the salon who worked closely with the two positive stylists were identified, quarantined and monitored daily for 14 days after their last exposure. None of these stylists reported COVID-19 symptoms.


Graphic via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


After the second stylist received a positive result, the salon closed for three days to disinfect frequently touched and contaminated areas. After public health contact tracings and two weeks of follow-up, no COVID-19 symptoms were identified among the 139 exposed clients or their secondary contacts.


What This Means

The city and salon’s policies to wear face coverings and social distance when possible were likely important factors in preventing the spread of coronavirus to clients, the CDC found in its report. Springfield’s ordinance reduced maximum building waiting area seating to 25 percent of normal capacity and recommend the use of face coverings indoors where physical distancing was not possible. The salon also requested that clients wear face coverings, and 98 percent of clients exposed to the two positive stylists did wear face coverings during their appointments.


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“Adherence to the community’s and company’s face-covering policy likely mitigated spread of SARS-CoV-2 [coronavirus],” the CDC reported. “CDC recommends workplace policies regarding use of face coverings for employees and clients in addition to daily monitoring of signs and symptoms of employees, procedures for screening employees who arrive with or develop symptoms at work, and posted messages to inform and educate employees and clients.”


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