People have done desperate things to get a haircut during the COVID-19 shutdown. But for one barber, these actions have had dire consequences.
A barber in Kingston, New York — about 90 miles from New York City — contracted the coronavirus while illicitly cutting hair, CNN reports. Ulster County health officials are currently searching for anyone who may have come in contact with the barber in the past three weeks.
As of Friday, there were 1,563 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ulster County and 64 fatalities. To combat the spread of the virus throughout the state, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has not allowed barbershops, beauty salons, nail salons, or other personal hygiene services to remain open. However, people are finding a way to have their needs met which is "disheartening" to county officials.
"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," Dr. Carol Smith, the health commissioner of Ulster County, said in a statement.
When asked about this case and similar situations, Cuomo informed the media that barbershops and similar establishments will be included in phase two of the state's reopening plan. Now, the Ulster County authorities want anyone who may have visited the barber to contact the county health department and to get a coronavirus test.