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Only two hairstylists tested positive for COVID-19 at a Springfield Great Clips store.
SBJ file photo
Only two hairstylists tested positive for COVID-19 at a Springfield Great Clips store.

Health Department clears Great Clips customers

Posted online

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is emphasizing the "value of masking" after no customers or additional stylists from Great Clips tested positive for COVID-19.

The Health Department last month reported two hairstylists worked while symptomatic – but wearing face masks – at Great Clips Inc.'s 1864 S. Glenstone Ave. store in the Plaza Shopping Center. The incubation period now has passed without additional cases, according to a news release.

The two stylists who tested positive for COVID-19 after working at Great Clips had local health officials watching the status of six other co-workers and 140 customers.

“This is exciting news about the value of masking to prevent COVID-19,” Health Department Director Clay Goddard said in the release. “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.”

Following the Health Department's notice, the franchisees who operate Minneapolis-based Great Clips' Springfield stores temporarily shuttered the salons after "repeated threats," according to past reporting. A Great Clips spokesperson said via email this morning that the shops at 3305 S. Campbell Ave. and 1953 E. Independence St. have reopened. The Glenstone Avenue location that was the site of the exposure warning has not yet reopened, and a timeline for restarting operations was not provided by deadline.

Coronavirus cases
While the Health Department cleared the Springfield Great Clips store, it warned of another potential exposure site.

Prior to being diagnosed with COVID-19, a symptomatic individual on May 31 visited Bricktown Brewery, 2040 E. Independence St., according to a news release.

The person, who was infectious, did not wear a mask. Health officials say while those who visited the restaurant on the same day are at low risk for contracting the virus, they should watch for symptoms.

Outside Springfield, Citizens Memorial Hospital announced it accepted its first COVID-19-positive hospital patient on June 6.

The patient, who is not from Polk County, was transported to the hospital by ambulance, according to a news release.

“The patient is receiving exceptional care and our medical staff and employees are taking all safety precautions to protect our employees and other patients,” said Gary Fulbright, CMH CEO, in the release. “We remain prepared and are following all safety protocols to continue to care for our patients and keep everyone safe.”

Statewide, there have been more than 14,730 confirmed coronavirus cases and nearly 820 deaths. In Greene County, the tally is 177 confirmed cases and seven confirmed deaths.

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