A barber who defied strict coronavirus lockdown laws for several weeks to continue cutting customers’ hair at a shop in New York state has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, health officials said.
The Ulster County Department of Health on Wednesday urged people who have recently received a haircut from a barbershop on Broadway in Kingston, around 100 miles north of New York City, to seek testing for the contagion.
Officials did not name the barber or the business.
In a statement released Wednesday, Ulster County Health Commissioner Dr. Carol Smith described the illicit operation as “extraordinarily disheartening.”
“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,” said Smith.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) issued a statewide order to “remain indoors to the greatest extent” on March 22, shuttering nonessential businesses including barbershops and salons.
The order ends Friday, when three of the state’s 10 regions will tentatively begin easing restrictions after meeting certain requirements.
The virus has now killed more than 86,000 people nationwide and sickened upwards of 1.4 million more. New York State has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, with more than 343,000 confirmed cases and over 27,000 deaths. The number of cases in the state is on the decline.
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