A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 338,000 people worldwide.
Over 5.2 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.
The United States is the worst-affected country in the world, with more than 1.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 96,007 deaths.
Today’s biggest developments:
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5 a.m.: Missouri hair stylist ‘potentially directly exposed’ 84 clients to COVID-19
A symptomatic hair stylist in Springfield, Missouri, may have exposed 84 clients and seven coworkers to the novel coronavirus over the course of eight days this month.
The hair stylist had recently traveled within the Show-Me and, after returning to Springfield, gave haircuts at a Great Clips from May 12-20, according to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
“This scenario is well within our capacity for staff to contact trace and hopefully contain,” Clay Goddard, director of health for Springfield-Greene County, said at a news conference Friday. “But I’m going to be honest with you, we can’t have many more of these. We can’t make this a regular habit or our capability as a community will be strained and we will have to reevaluate what things look like going forward.”
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All potentially exposed individuals will be notified and offered testing, Goddard said. Officials are hoping for a minimal spread of COVID-19 from this incident because all parties concerned were wearing masks.
He said as the state and local communities reopen, it’s important for citizens to realize the social responsibility they have to others. Don’t assume your slight cold or allergies are just that; make sure to get tested, Goddard said.
If people don’t do this, it will put a strain on the local health care system and could force officials to rethink their economic reopening plans.
“We are moving out of a phase where we took enormous sacrifice as a community. There are economic hardships as a result of that,” Goddard said Friday. “We’re in a new phase of this disease where we’re going to walk that tight rope between disease control and economic harm. If we are going to work sick and sharing this illness with others, that’s not a good approach.”
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson lifted many of the state’s restrictions and its stay-at-home order on May 4.
The state has more than 11,844 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, with at least 677 deaths.