Great Clips customer who was possibly exposed to COVID-19 speaks out

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – A client who may have been exposed to COVID-19 at a Great Clips in Springfield is speaking out. One hair stylist worked for several days while sick with the virus. Now another stylist has also tested positive.

“Now I’m someone directly affected by COVID and I never thought that it would be so close to home,” said Erik Chase.

Chase visited the Great Clips on S. Glenstone a week ago on Sunday, May 17. The following Saturday, Springfield-Greene County Health Department let him know he’d come in contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.

He’s one of the 84 clients who had their hair cut by a stylist who was working while showing symptoms for COVID-19.

“It’s a big deal. It definitely gives me great concern,” Chase said.

Chase said officials have asked him to stay home until May 31st, 14 days from when he got his hair cut. He must take his temperature twice a day and check in with the health department. He’ll be tested for the virus this week.

“All this because someone wasn’t responsible,” Chase said.

He said all customers were wearing masks at Great Clips while he was there, but he saw some stylists who were not. Chase said the stylist who cut his hair was not wearing gloves. More than that, Chase said, the employee who was sick never should’ve been at work.

“They should’ve stayed home,” he said. “I also think that the employer had a great responsibility that if one of their employees wasn’t feeling well, especially with this pandemic, to send their employee home.”

Now, another stylist at that salon has tested positive for COVID-19. They came in contact with 56 more clients, bringing the possible exposure count to at least 140 people.

“I know that the employee feels really bad about what happened. I’m sure they both do but you have a situation that caused a chain reaction,” Chase said.

Chase said from the time he went to the Great Clips to the day he was actually notified, he came in contact with 15 to 20 people. At this point, he’s expecting the worst.

“So I don’t think that the story is ending any time soon, I think the saga continues,” Chase said.

The owner of the Great Clips on Glenstone said the store is closed for deep cleaning and will reopen when the health department says it’s safe to do so. She wrote in a message, she’s also worried because her employees have been getting threats. Chase said, even though he’s disappointed this happened, violence is not necessary.

Below is a full statement from Great Clips, Inc.:
“The top priority for our company and our 1,100 independent franchisees is the well-being of customers, staff and the communities we serve. Before franchisees began re-opening salons in late April, we established and communicated enhanced safety and sanitization protocols for franchisees to follow based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as local health authorities. Despite these precautions, and the diligent work undertaken by hundreds of franchisees and their respective salon teams over the last several weeks, we recently received confirmation that two stylists at a franchisee-owned salon in Springfield, Missouri have tested positive for COVID-19. Both stylists are following medical advice and taking appropriate actions, and the local health department notified individuals who came in close contact with those stylists. The franchise owners have closed the salon to undergo additional sanitization and deep cleaning, consistent with guidance from health officials.”

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