Health Watch: CDC publishes Missouri doctor’s report on positive cases involving 2 hair stylists

Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 3:20 PM AKDT
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The Centers for Disease Control published a report highlighting the success of masks after two Springfield stylists contracted COVID-19.

CoxHealth Infectious Disease Doctor Robin Trotman and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department compiled the report.

The case involves two stylists at a Springfield Great Clips. The Greene County Health Department (Missouri) conducted contact tracing for all 139 exposed clients back to the dates that stylists A and B first developed symptoms. The 139 clients were monitored after their last exposure at the salon. It turned out none suffered any symptoms for COVID-19.

“If you wanted to do it in a laboratory you would have designed it like this,” said Dr. Robin Trotman.

He said that the exposure case at the Great Clips salon in Springfield was ideal for studying the theory of masking to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“You would have had a defined group of people with whom you could contact and speak with after the exposure. You would know the duration of the exposure. Then you could follow symptoms. You just don’t get these opportunities in contact tracings with one-hundred percent certainty,” he explained. “It’s a pretty big deal. I think we’re going to see a handful of these manuscripts coming out. It was big enough that the CDC reached out to us.”

Trotman, along with three other medical professionals collaborated on a report at the request of the CDC.

“It’s not like anything I’ve ever published. It went through multiple layers of peer review with insights and comments and questions. We are now developing evidence that is undeniably effective at preventing transmission,” he said.

Based on the report, Trotman says that the CDC now says that a consistently and correctly worn facial cover is safe and effective in slowing the spread of the disease.

“Something is better than nothing. If you’re asymptomatically shedding the virus and you have a bandanna over your face, that’s what you have access to, that’s better than nothing,” he said.

The CDC report credits the city ordinance that went into effect May 6 that called for limited occupancy of a businesses, social distancing and face coverings. The CDC points to this study for wearing face coverings.

Trotman credits the salon with strictly following the guidelines.

He said that the research would not have been possible without the assistance of M. Joshua Hendrix, MD with Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City colleague Charles Wade, MD and Kendra Findley, MS with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

CLICK HERE to read the full report from the CDC.

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