HAYWOOD COUNTY, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - Haywood County health officials say a new cluster of COVID-19 cases is tied to a hair salon in Canton.
In a news release Thursday, the Haywood County Department Health and Human Services (HCDHHS) announced the cluster was connected to Enchanting Hair Fashions. The agency says three salon employees, five customers, and five close contacts have tested positive for the virus. The cluster has lead to three people being hospitalized. In stark terms, the agency says this cluster alone represents one-third of the virus cases thus far identified in the county since September 8, 2020.
Putting this into context, the North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCDPH)defines COVID-19 clusters in the workplace, in schools, and other community settings by the following criteria:
- A minimum of 5 cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period AND
- plausible linkage between cases where cases were present in the same setting during the same time period, with the timing fitting the likely timing of exposure. There also needs to be no other more likely source for identified cases, like another household member or close contact tied to another confirmed case elsewhere
Haywood County Public Health is working to identify any additional close contacts of people identified in this cluster. The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person infected with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, without wearing a face covering, during the period in which they are contagious. Based on the information provided during contact tracing, county health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed, quarantine, and/or testing.
Anyone who has symptoms and tests positive is required to remain in isolation for at least 10 days since symptoms first present, at least 24 hours since last fever has passed without use of fever-reducing medication, and once symptoms have improved. Those not presenting symptoms should isolate for at least 10 days after a positive test is conducted and after symptoms are confirmed to have not developed.