A New York State barber who flouted the strict coronavirus lockdown restrictions for several weeks to continue servicing customers at his shop in the state has been confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19, health authorities said.
The Ulster County Department of Health on Wednesday appealed to people who have recently received a haircut from a barbershop on Broadway in Kingston, around 100 miles north of New York City, to seek getting tested for the virus.
However, officials did not mention the name of the barber or the business.
⚠️ PUBLIC HEALTH NOTICE ⚠️ @UCDeptHealth announced today that a Kingston barber who has been providing haircuts during the last few weeks at a barbershop on Broadway has tested positive this week for the COVID-19 virus. pic.twitter.com/IVAimqoJ90
— Ulster County Government (@UlsterNY) May 13, 2020
Dr. Carol Smith, the Ulster County Health Commissioner, in a statement released Wednesday, 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.
Andrew Cuomo (D), the New York Governor gave a statewide directive to “remain indoors to the greatest extent” on March 22, closing down nonessential businesses including barbershops and salons.
The order ends this week, 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. This however has heightened the hopes for a reopened economy in the state.