Erik Chase says he was already having a rough week when he found out that he may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
Chase told CNN’s “New Day” that he got his hair cut May 17 at a Great Clips salon in Springfield, Missouri, where health officials say two stylists worked for up to eight days despite showing Covid-19 symptoms. They potentially exposed 140 people to the virus, the officials said.
Health officials called him on Saturday afternoon – six days after the haircut – and told him that he might have been exposed on May 17 and that he needed to quarantine himself until May 31.
Chase said they didn’t tell him where they believe he might have been exposed.
“I’ve dealt with some family emergencies this week and it was kind of like the last bit of bad news to get on a week that was already tumultuous,” Chase said.
“So my first thoughts were anger, you know, just a normal reaction, and then I had grief and then it was guilt.”
Chase said his mom’s been in the hospital and he had to take his cat to the vet four times in the past week.
Chase said he then went into “proactive mode” and started listing all the people he may have been in contact with, so that he could notify them that he may have been exposed.
“Keep in mind, it was six days before I even knew that I had been exposed to it, so even with my limited interactions with people and practicing social distancing measures, that’s a lot of time, especially when you’re doing your essential, like everyday life circumstances,” Chase said.
He’s hoping to get a coronavirus test on Tuesday or Wednesday, and says he’s been taking his temperature twice a day since he got the news.
“As of right now, I’m asymptomatic, but with me being high risk already as a diabetic and having some other immune deficiencies, it does concern me,” he said, adding that any cough, sneeze or shiver makes him wonder “Do I have it?”
The Springfield-Greene Health Department said the two stylists worked from the second week of May until last Wednesday. The stylists and their clients wore face coverings. The salon kept excellent records, so health officials were able to contact their clients.
Department Director Clay Goddard said the salon has had a deep cleaning and he considers it to be safe.
“The well-being of Great Clips customers and stylists in the salon is our top priority and proper sanitization has always been an important cosmetology industry practice for Great Clips salons. We’ve closed the salon where the employee works and it’s currently undergoing additional sanitizing and deep cleaning,” the owners of the business said in a statement to CNN affiliate KYTV.
The incident raises concerns over the increased risk of community spread, as states and cities allow businesses to reopen after weeks of restrictions.
Missouri has reported 12,476 coronavirus cases and 689 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Chase said he’s been catching up on TV shows and doing projects around the house to keep his mind busy, but he hasn’t been able to see his mom.
“I’m her primary point of contact, so the ability to reach out to her and see hows she’s doing like through that human connection, I’m not able to do because I’m on quarantine now,” he said.