A barber in Kingston, N.Y., continued to cut hair after stay-at-home orders were implemented in the state to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Now, he has tested positive for COVID-19 and health officials are alerting those who may have visited his shop.
According to the Ulster County Department of Health, this barbershop was “operating illicitly” since the shelter orders were put in place and urged anyone who received a haircut from the shop “in the last three weeks” to contact their doctor and get tested.
“We are taking extraordinary measures to try and minimize the spread of this dangerous disease and learning that a barbershop has been operating illicitly for weeks with a COVID-19 positive employee is extraordinarily disheartening,” Ulster County Health Commissioner Dr. Carol Smith said in a statement. “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.”
Barbershops are included in the non-essential businesses that were ordered to close due to the health crisis on March 20. Ulster County Department of Health did not release the name of the barbershop.
During New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s May 14 press conference, the Mid-Hudson region, where Ulster County is located, was highlighted as an area that has not yet met the metrics to start reopening.
Ulster County is 110 miles north of New York City. There are 1563 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of May 15 in the county and 64 deaths, according to the Ulster County Health Department. 839 people in the county have recovered from the virus.