Jul 15, 2020 - Health

Study: 2 hair stylists had COVID-19 but masks kept clients healthy

A hair stylist with a mask and face shield on cutting the hair of a boy with a face mask on

Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images

139 clients were exposed to two symptomatic hair stylists with COVID-19, but face coverings on both the stylists and customers resulted in no reported secondary cases, a study released Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

Why it matters: The masks prevented what could have been a major outbreak in Springfield, Missouri, in an industry that's mostly been able to reopen across the U.S.

The big picture: The study is part of several that have been recently released and scientific advice that's emerged illustrating that a population of people can help prevent spread of the coronavirus by covering their nose and mouth.

By the numbers: The two stylists came in close contact with 139 clients who wanted haircuts, facial hair trimmings or perms.

  • These appointments led the clients within inches of the symptomatic stylists for 15- to 45-minute periods.
  • Contact tracers followed up with those 139 customers and no one reported feeling sick during the 14 days that followed their salon appointments.
  • Researchers also offered the clients free diagnostic tests; 67 accepted, and all turned up negative.

Go deeper: CDC director says U.S. could get coronavirus "under control" in 4–8 weeks if all wear masks

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