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Barber Who Refused to Close Tests Positive

He was 'illicitly' operating for weeks in Kingston, NY
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2020 11:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – An upstate New York barber who’s been cutting hair for weeks in defiance of the state’s stay-at-home order has tested positive for COVID-19. Ulster County health commissioner Dr. Carol Smith did not identify the barber or shop in a statement but said anyone who'd received a haircut in the past three weeks at a barbershop on Broadway in the city of Kingston, some 20 miles north of Poughkeepsie, should be tested, reports NBC News. There are at least four barbershops in that area, per the New York Post.

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Barbershops and other non-essential businesses have been closed by state order since March 22. "Learning that a barbershop has been operating illicitly for weeks with a COVID-19-positive employee is extraordinarily disheartening," Smith said. "As much as we would all like to go out and get a professional haircut, this kind of direct contact has the potential to dramatically spread this virus throughout our community and beyond." Ulster County had counted 1,533 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, 194 of those in Kingston, per the Daily Freeman. (A Michigan barber has vowed to keep working.)

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