Three salon employees, five customers, and five close contacts of those employees or customers have tested positive for COVID-19. Three people have been hospitalized as a result of this cluster. To put it into perspective, this cluster alone represents one-third of the cases identified in Haywood County since Sept. 8.
“We believe identifying a cluster is important for transparency and to raise awareness for the public about COVID-19 transmission,” said Public Health Services Director Patrick Johnson.
The North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCDPH) defines clusters of COVID-19 in workplace, educational, and other community settings as, 1) A minimum of 5 cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period AND, 2) plausible linkage between cases where cases were present in the same setting during the same time period (e.g., same shift, same classroom, same physical work area); that the timing fits with likely timing of exposure; and that there is no other more likely source of exposure for identified cases (e.g., household or close contact to a confirmed case in another setting).
Symptomatic individuals who test positive will be required to remain in isolation under the following conditions: 1) At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND, 2) At least 24 hours have passed since the last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND 3) Symptoms (like cough and shortness of breath) have improved. Asymptomatic individuals who test positive will be required to remain in isolation under the following conditions: 1) At least 10 days have passed since their positive test assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.
Haywood County Public Health is working to identify any additional close contacts of people identified in this cluster. The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person infected with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, without wearing a face covering, during the period in which they are contagious. Based on the information provided during contact tracing, county health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed, quarantine, and/or testing.
This link: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/guidance#node-71 contains information and guidance for business owners and customers of all types of businesses in North Carolina.
For guidance specific to salons, massage, and personal care, visit: https://files.nc.gov/covid/documents/guidance/NCDHHS-Interim-Guidance-for-Salons-Personal-Care-Businesses-Phase-2.pdf