US Great Clips where coronavirus-infected stylists worked closes after threats

10:50  29 may  2020
10:50  29 may  2020 Source:   nbcnews.com

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Great Clips has temporarily closed its salons in Springfield, Missouri, after receiving threatening messages following the news that two of its hairstylists who tested positive for the coronavirus might have exposed 140 clients to the illness. Great Clips Inc., which has thousands of franchises in the

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Great Clips salons in Springfield, Missouri, have temporarily closed because of "repeated threats" that came after two stylists worked while infected with the coronavirus, potentially exposing more than a hundred customers, the company and police said.

a sign in front of a store © Provided by NBC News

Great Clips Inc. said in a statement that salons in the Springfield area were closed because of threats it received Wednesday, but it did not disclose the nature of the threats.

On Saturday, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department announced that a second stylist at a single location tested positive and that 140 customers had potentially been exposed.

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Both stylists who were not named, were symptomatic when they were at work from the second week of May until Wednesday May 20. Goddard said he was satisfied with Great Clips ' deep cleaning measures and that he does consider the business to be safe despite the issue with infected stylists .

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"To protect the safety of everyone, the local franchisees made the decision to temporarily close salons in the Springfield area. They are working closely with law enforcement officials as the officials conduct a thorough investigation of these threats," Great Clips Inc. said in a statement.

So far, the second stylist is the only person who has tested positive in connection with the case.

The health department said Thursday that 42 clients have since tested negative.

An email to a Springfield police spokesperson about the nature of the threats was not immediately returned Thursday night.

But Springfield police spokeswoman Jasmine Bailey told The Associated Press that the first threat came from a Facebook message to an employee on Saturday. The second threat was phoned to a salon Wednesday.

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What makes coronavirus dangerous is that if an infected person develops acute pneumonia it might be quite difficult to treat. Even if patients survive through this stage, they could end up with their immune system suppressed to such an extent that another lung disease could kill them.

Bailey said that in both cases, the messages “were threatening to shut the place down” because the stylists potentially exposed people to the virus.

The first stylist's positive result was announced by health officials Friday, and they said the stylist worked for eight days while experiencing symptoms.

The positive test for the second stylist, at the same location, was announced by the health department Saturday.

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Both stylists and the customers were wearing masks, the health department has said.

Missouri hair salons and barbershops have been allowed to reopen after they and other nonessential businesses were ordered closed under a statewide stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

It was not clear when the Springfield area Great Clips salons may reopen.

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