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Mask for the Win? Covid-positive Hairstylists Exposed to 140 Customers in US, No One Was Infected

Representative image.

Representative image.

Recent studies suggest wearing masks can be more effective in beating COVID-19 than other social distancing measures.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: June 13, 2020, 7:09 PM IST
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In a rather odd incident, two hairstylists with COVID-19 symptoms services 140 customers in a month without either of them contracting the virus.

The incident took place in Springfield, Missouri last month when the two who were tested positive. Turned out that the duo, who worked at the same salon 'Great Clips', were exposed to about 140 customers and seven other co-workers in one month while being symptomatic. The period consisted of eight working days for the two each.

While 46 of the people exposed to the virus instantly tested negative, the remaining were asked to home-quarantine for 14 days. After the quarantine period, all the exposed persons have emerged uninfected.

As per a report on CNN, the salon had been practicing social distancing by staggering appointments, maintaining an appropriate distance between chairs and imposing mandatory use of face-covering by both staff and customers.

READ: Masks More Effective Than Social Distancing in Reducing Covid-19 Infection Among Thousands: Study

The peculiar case is being touted by some as further proof of the effectiveness of face masks in containing the spread of coronavirus.

As per a recent study published in PNAS: The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, mask-wearing is even more important for preventing the virus' spread and the sometimes deadly COVID-19 illness it causes than social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

The study suggested that wearing of masks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in areas at the epicenter of the global pandemic may have prevented tens of thousands of infections.

Similar thoughts were echoed by Indian-American surgeon and researcher Atul Gawande who took to Twitter to say, "Important results: Remember the 2 MO hairstylists who saw 140 clients over 8 days while infected with COVID but everyone had worn masks? Contact tracers found ZERO secondary infections. More evidence that masks work".

To prove the point, Gawande compared the case to the situation in Jerusalem, Israel, where cases spiked sharply after the reopening f schools, leading to re-closure of many. As per an article in Jerusalem Post, many had been defying social distancing guidelines at school, leading Gawande to tag it as evidence for the success of masks.

Meanwhile, the latest data from the Union Health Ministry showed a total of 3,08,993, positive cases of COVID-19 in India with the largest spike of 11,458 being recorded in a single day after the government decided to ease lockdown restrictions.

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