2 Watertown barbershop employees test positive for COVID, county issues public exposure advisory

Barbershop COVID-19 tracing

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - A Watertown barbershop is closed after 2 employees tested positive for COVID-19.

If you visited D’Spot Barbershop at 1063 Arsenal Street last Thursday, Friday and Saturday or Tuesday and Wednesday this week, you’re asked to call Jefferson County Public Health Service at 315-786-3720 if you’re experiencing symptoms, which include fever, cough, shortness of breath, or gastrointestinal illness.

Jefferson County reported 5 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and said some of those cases involve the barbershop.

County Administrator Robert Hagemann said in an email, “Because there was not adequate record keeping, our ability to undertake necessary contact tracing has been compromised.”

Board of Legislators chair Scott Gray says they want to hear from anyone who was at the business on those five days.

“They should contact public health, as well as monitor their personal condition,” Gray said.

Gray says waiting to hear from people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 isn’t the norm.

Gray says that means the county can’t be proactive in notifying anyone who may have been there, which he says leaves the door open for a possible community spread.

“You have people out there are potentially carrying the virus, so we have to get them as quickly as possible and have them contact us, instead of us contacting them,” he said. “It’s because we lack the information to get them, to contact them.”

Gray says the county will be reviewing D’Spot Barbershop’s safety plan and if any breaches in that plan are found, he says it could mean a fine for the business.

7 News tried to reach out to the barbershop for comment, but haven’t heard back.

A statement on D’Spot Barbershop’s Facebook page says the business followed “all safety guidance and protocols for your safety and the safety of the barbers...But things happened that are out of our control and we need to act accordingly with diligence and caution.”

Public health says if you received haircuts at the D’Spot Barbershop, monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from the date you visited the barbershop.

Here are the dates and times the public may have been exposed to the coronavirus:

Thursday, August 27, 2020 between 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Friday, August 28, 2020 between 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 29, 2020 between 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020 between 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020 between 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Public health officials said the barbers in the barbershop wore masks.

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