A chain of hair salons in a Missouri city is once again closed—not because of a coronavirus outbreak, but because of threats made over a possible one. Earlier this week, it was announced two stylists who worked at the same Great Clips site in Springfield—which reopened earlier this month when restrictions on salons were lifted by Gov. Mike Parson—were found to have tested positive for COVID-19, possibly exposing nearly 150 staff members and customers. Both staffers reportedly worked for days while showing symptoms, though both wore masks, as did customers. Now the company and police say "repeated threats" have forced the closure of multiple local Great Clips locations, per NBC News. "To protect the safety of everyone, the local franchisees made the decision to temporarily close salons in the Springfield area," Great Clips Inc. said in a statement.
Springfield Police Department spokeswoman Jasmine Bailey tells the AP that a salon employee received the first threat via Facebook on Saturday. A second threat came in to a salon on Wednesday via a phone call. Bailey says both warnings "were threatening to shut the place down" over the stylists' possibly exposing customers. Meanwhile, an attorney for one of the stylists tells KY3 his client sought a test when she developed symptoms but says she wasn't told by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department not to return to work as she awaited her results. The health department says all patients getting a test have to sign an agreement saying they won't go back to work while waiting for results, though it wouldn't discuss her case due to privacy issues. It's not clear how many salons were closed, or when the shuttered locations may reopen once again. (Read more Missouri stories.)