Butter Salon in Terrace closed voluntarily Dec. 4 after two staff and a client tested positive for COVID-19. (Butter Salon Facebook photo)

Butter Salon in Terrace closed voluntarily Dec. 4 after two staff and a client tested positive for COVID-19. (Butter Salon Facebook photo)

Butter Salon in Terrace chooses to close temporarily after COVID-19 exposure

Northern Health monitoring after two employees, one client test positive

Butter Salon in Terrace is temporarily and voluntarily closed following a COVID-19 exposure, according to a Dec. 4 statement posted to the company’s Facebook page.

A client came through the salon on Nov. 23 and received service from two stylists. Three days later, the client contacted the salon and said they were not feeling well. The two stylists stopped work and began self-isolating.

On Dec. 3, the salon received word that two stylists and the client had tested positive for COVID-19. The salon opted to close down temporarily.

“From the outside, this may seem like an intense situation,” reads the statement, which was written by Butter Salon owners Andréa Harmel and Kory Yamashita. “However, it’s only because we are proactive, diligent and transparent. Any staff who has a slight headache is getting tested.”

The statement said it’s fortunate that the illness was noticed quickly.

“The heads up from our client allowed us to react early and take actions before the likely contagious period,” the statement reads. “Without that early notice and our early precautions, the response would have followed the normal timeline for testing and self-isolation, and we would be several days to a week behind where we are.”

“The two staff have had very different experiences with the disease and one of them has very few symptoms at all. If we weren’t attentive, this could have blown through and we wouldn’t have even known.”

Eryn Collins, a spokesperson for Northern Health, said the health authority does not discuss or confirm instances of COVID-19. However, she said most businesses in the Northern Health region have COVID-19 safety plans to prevent transmission of the virus.

“Individuals who have not had close interactions with, or who have been simply present in the same location as, a confirmed case do not need to take additional precautions beyond the public health advice and guidance for all British Columbians,” Collins said.

Harmel and Yamashita said it was not an easy decision to close their business as it entered its busiest season, but they felt it was the right thing to do to protect their clients, their staff, and the whole community. They asked the community to support local businesses this holiday season and to stay safe.

“Please take this insidious and sneaky virus seriously – it can transmit before your first symptoms show up, so we all need to be vigilant every day,” they wrote.

The pair said they are finalizing details of a plan to reopen the salon as soon as it’s safe to do so.