Two Missouri hairstylists who had COVID-19 exposed as many as 146 people to the virus.
Not a single one got sick.
Local health officials attributed the lack of infections to masks.
“This is exciting news about the value of masking to prevent COVID-19,” Springfield-Greene County Director of Health Clay Goddard said in a statement. “We are studying more closely the details of these exposures, including what types of face coverings were worn and what other precautions were taken to lead to this encouraging result. We never want an exposure like this to happen, but this situation will greatly expand our understanding of how this novel coronavirus spreads.”
The hairstylists at Great Clips did not know they were positive for the virus when they were cutting and styling hair.
“Testing was offered to all those potentially exposed, and 46 people pursued testing—all came back negative. Regardless of testing, all potentially exposed were quarantined for the duration of their exposure period,” Goddard said.
The stylists worked about eight days, ending on May 20, while they were symptomatic. One saw 56 clients while the other worked with 84 clients, as well as coworkers, according to CNN.
While officials deemed social distancing and masks the solution, a new report says the virus is seasonal (as are amany other coronaviruses).
“Researchers found that areas affected early on in the outbreak were on a similar band of northern latitude, such as Wuhan and Daegu in Asia; Milan and Paris in Europe; and Seattle in the US,” The Daily Mail reported.
“Also related among these cities were ranges of cold temperatures and relatively low humidity from January through March. This seems to imply that the virus behaves similarly to seasonal respiratory viruses such as the flu and spread rapidly in the winter and early spring months.”