Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Coronavirus hits close to home as stylists at Springfield, Missouri, hair salon expose 140 clients after working while experiencing symptoms

"Gabby the Investigative Tabby"
We are pleased to announce that the Schnauzer family seems to be doing OK, hunkered down here in the Midwest during the coronavirus pandemic. Mrs. Schnauzer and I have been fortunate to not experience any alarming symptoms -- although the whole thing is wearing on us emotionally, largely because of the "Orange Cheeto" and his band of inept sycophants in the White House, who allowed a deadly virus to take hold on our shores. Perhaps we are most grateful to have "Gabby the Investigative Tabby" in our family unit, watching him rollick along to his own kitty-kat beat -- an endless source of amusement, good-naturedness, curiosity, and inspiration. We see him as a gift from God, helping us put one foot in front of the other.

Great Clips location where 140 people were exposed to virus.
With that said, the virus has hit close to home in a peculiar and instructive way. Our current home base, Springfield, MO, has made national news after two hairstylists potentially exposed 140 customers to the coronavirus. Both stylists worked for Great Clips, at 1864 S. Glenstone Ave. (for those familiar with the city), which is next door to the old Tower Theater location. In fact, in some photos of the Great Clips, you can see what looks like a theater marquee to the far left. That's what remains of the Tower Theater, which I think now is home to a restaurant. From a report at CNN:

Two Missouri hairstylists potentially exposed 140 clients to coronavirus when they worked for up to eight days this month while symptomatic, health officials said.

The Springfield-Greene Health Department announced Saturday that a second hairstylist tested positive for coronavirus, and may have exposed 56 clients at the same Great Clips salon.
A day earlier, officials had said another hairstylist with coronavirus at the same salon potentially exposed 84 customers and seven coworkers.
Both stylists had symptoms while at work, officials said. They did not provide details on their conditions or when they tested positive.

Both stylists worked from the second week of May to Wednesday. The clients and the stylists all wore face coverings, the Health Department said. At the time, businesses like barbershops and hair salons were allowed to operate in the state. "It is the hope of the department that because face coverings were worn throughout this exposure timeline, no additional cases will result," it added.

Health officials are reaching out to all the people who were exposed and offering them testing. They urged them to be on the lookout for symptoms.

What can we learn from this? That takes us back to the "Orange Cheeto." He is intent on reopening churches -- and considering that many church services probably draw 100-500 people, maybe more --  the potential problems there likely would overwhelm those at a hair salon.

How might a major spike in COVID-19 cases affect strained health-care systems? Missouri authorities already are concerned about that:
The salon kept impeccable records that made contact tracing possible, said Clay Goddard, director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. But he cautioned about the risks of overwhelming resources. "I'm going to be honest with you: We can't have many more of these," he said at a news conference. "We can't make this a regular habit or our capabilities as a community will be strained."

Gabby, in repose between reporting assignments.

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