The stylist who was the first to test positive for COVID-19 that worked while sick at a Great Clips location in Springfield has hired an attorney in the wake of receiving threats.
Attorney Bill Robb, representing the franchise owner and the stylist, told KOLR-10 that the stylist felt her taste and smell were off on May 18th and was tested for COVID-19, and claimed the Springfield-Greene County Health Department didn’t tell her to quarantine.
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department noted they could not respond directly to the lawyer’s comments because of HIPAA.
SGCHD officials released this statement to OI:
As part of regular disease investigation conducted by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, it was determined that two individuals worked while potentially contagious, possibly putting members of the public at risk. We do not make potential public exposure notifications to blame—only to warn.
It is our solemn duty in such situations to evaluate the risk to the public, and we take great care in making such decisions. Ultimately, it is our duty to protect the health and safety of people who were potentially exposed and otherwise would not have known.
Transparency is an important value to us—but patient privacy is paramount.
HIPAA protects against revealing personal health information, so we can’t speak to the specific experience of this patient, but we can talk about our process in general.
For anyone tested through our Mobile Testing Unit, the patient is walked through a Patient Responsibility Form, which includes the requirement that anyone waiting for testing results stay home.
Each person is then required to sign to acknowledge their receipt and understanding of their responsibilities, and takes a copy of the form home with them.
Once lab results confirm a positive case, the individual is then informed of their responsibilities to remain in isolation, which reiterates these responsibilities listed in the previous document, as well as gives guidance on precautions to take at home, and the twice daily symptom reporting requirements. This document also requires patient consent.
Here is the actual form given to those who have been tested:SGCHDCovid19Sheet
Mercy-GoHealth Urgent Care, where the stylist claims sent her home without a test for COVID-19, sent this statement to OI on Friday morning:
Federal privacy laws prevent Mercy-GoHealth Urgent Care from discussing individual patient care. Mercy-GoHealth provides high-quality care based on the most stringent clinical standards set by Mercy and applicable law. Each patient is individually evaluated based on his or her symptoms and medical history shared at the time of the visit. Mercy-GoHealth follows CDC and state COVID-19 testing criteria.
OI reached out to attorney Robb via phone and email but did not receive a response by publication time.