And perhaps it would have, had it not been for the masks.
In the days after, health officials contact-traced all 139 people exposed to the stylists and asked them to self-quarantine for two weeks. None reported feeling sick during the 14 days that followed their salon appointments. The researchers also offered the clients free diagnostic tests for the coronavirus. Sixty-seven of them accepted; the rest declined. Of those tested, all turned up negative.
“I was shocked,” Ms. Findley said.
Follow-up interviews with 104 of the clients revealed that, in accordance with guidelines, patrons and stylists alike had worn masks for the duration of almost all the encounters documented by the study.
A small handful of clients had donned N95 respirators — devices designed to filter out 95 percent of airborne particles and one of the best forms of protection for health workers. Since the start of the pandemic, N95s have