Covid-19: case in hairdressing salon shows that wearing a mask prevents its spread

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Hairdressers infected with Covid-19 did not infect their clients and workers because they both wore masks; what was verified through a study.

This study, published by the American Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), serves as a case example in a very specific location: a Missouri hair salon where two employees were infected with the coronavirus but continued to work while using a mask.

When these two people tested positive for the virus, researchers at the University of Washington and the University of Kansas worked together to find and investigate any related "contact cases." In this room, all employees and customers had to wear a mask, in accordance with local government ordinance.

No ill or positive client

One of the hairdressers developed respiratory symptoms but continued to serve clients for eight days. The other barber, who was apparently infected by his colleague, also developed respiratory symptoms and continued to serve clients for four days. The latter wore double-layer cloth masks or surgical masks when they saw their clients, and their appointment times ranged from 15 to 45 minutes. Additionally, over 98% of clients wore a mask: 47% wore a cloth mask, 46% wore surgical masks, and about 5% wore an N95 type mask (with a filter, similar to FFP2).

The investigators 'investigation revealed that none of the hairdressers' 139 clients or secondary contacts became ill in the following weeks and that the 67 clients who volunteered to undergo a screening test showed no signs of infection.

"The discovery adds to a growing body of evidence that masks provide source control - that is, they help prevent the person using it from spreading the infection." The main protection that individuals obtain from this measure occurs when other members of their community also use it."

However, several members of the family of one of the stylists were subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19.

"We are not defenseless against COVID-19," CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said in a statement. "Masks are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus, especially when it is used universally in a community setting."

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