It was one of the big breaking news stories across US media outlets over the weekend: after making the rounds on TV channels and social media platforms it even become a top print media story, before spreading across Europe and the rest of the world.
The top protagonists were two hairdressers in the city of Springfield, Missouri. In conjunction with 6 colleagues, they provided in-salon services for 139 clients, after which they began to experience symptoms of Covid-19. After testing positive, the track-and-trace machine was set into motion and all 139 salon guests were contacted and tested. Incredibly, none of them tested positive!
In just a few days, the case of the Missouri hairdressing salon has become an emblem of how effective the correct use of a face mask can be in preventing the spread of the virus. The case of the Springfield salon was even cited by Clay Goddard, Director of the Department of Health, who even cited the case of the Springfield salon –which is part of the Great Clips salon chain– as an example with needs to be followed in recognizing the effectiveness of face masks in hair & beauty salons, or anywhere in which people cannot observe the social distancing rule.
The Washington Post reported that “the example of a salon with 2 Covid-infected asymptomatic workers who then continued to work while protected by masks can be considered one of the clearest examples of how masks can slow down and facilitate the prevention of transmission of the virus.” The impact of the report was heightened by the fact that on the very same day as this news was reported, another one told of the tragic case of the 4th of July party where 21 out of 300 people circulating without face protection fell ill with Covid19.
Further in-depth reporting on both the ABC and CNN networks gave further confirmation that a combination of mask-wearing and social distancing undoubtedly has a huge impact on containing the virus – a vital message the USA media machine is sending out to the whole world.