A barber who defied New York’s strict coronavirus lockdown for several weeks to cut customers’ hair has tested positive for COVID-19, health officials said.
The Ulster County Department of Health on Wednesday urged people who 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.
The illicit operation is “extraordinarily disheartening,” 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,” said Smith.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on March 22 issued a statewide order to “remain indoors to the greatest extent.” He ordered the closing of 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 in the US and sickened upwards of 1.4 million. 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.