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More evidence that masks help prevent transmission of SARS-COV-2: a hair stylist had COVID-19, but didn’t transmit it to her clients: Washington Post

2020-06-17

photo by Juraj Varga courtesy of pixabay.com

The Great Clips hair salon in Springfield, Missouri was the site of a non-spreading event in late May.  A hair stylist there tested positive on May 21 and continued to work, exposing some 84 customers.  However, both she and the customers wore face masks.  She worked eight shifts over nine days, despite having symptoms.  Another worker at the salon also tested positive, and it is thought that she was infected by her co-worker.  She worked on another 56 clients.  Of the exposed clients, only 46 agreed to have tests done.  None of them came back positive, despite all being exposed for up to thirty minutes apiece in close proximity to the sick workers.

At least 140 people were directly exposed to the sick stylists, and another 200-300 people were in the hair salon during the time the two were working.  According to an article in the June 17 Washington Post, 

“I expected five to 10 new cases,” said Robin Trotman, medical director of Infection Prevention Services at CoxHealth in Springfield, who consults with the local health department.

This incident is strong observational evidence that wearing face masks is an effective way to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus.  The article continues with another quote from Trotman:

“Which mask worked, the hairdresser’s or the client’s? I think the answer is yes. They both worked,” he said. “The system worked. Universal masking worked. It really doesn’t matter which one.”

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