ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Cardinals reliever Ryan Helsley was one of the players who tested positive for COVID-19. A local hair stylist told News 4 she cut the pitcher's hair the day he started exhibiting symptoms and was never contacted by Helsley or the team.
Bailey Dowell works at a salon in downtown St. Louis.
“I was trying to give them a chance to do the right thing,” Dowell said, explaining she was frustrated to find out about Helsley’s positive COVID tests through social media.
“You had tweeted about it and that he had reported a low-grade fever and my friend had sent a screenshot of your tweet,” Dowell told News 4’s Brooke Grimsley.
Mozeliak says that Helsley’s low grade fever started yesterday. #STLCards— Brooke Grimsley (@BrookeGrimsley) August 8, 2020
Dowell said Helsley came in Thursday at 11 a.m., which is the same day the Cardinals said he began exhibiting coronavirus symptoms. The hair stylist said she didn’t know who he was when he showed up. He was a first time client.
"I did ask what he did and he simply said baseball didn't say specifically of course. i do remember specifically asking about had he been in contact with anybody or if he knew anybody close to him who have had COVID and he did say no to me, and thinking back on it that's one of my frustrations," she said.
Dowell said that she provided him with her contact information to make further appointments so she's struggling to understand why there's been no contact from him or the team about the exposure.
"I have been waiting. I reached out to the salon to let them know that I wouldn't be in and that I wasn't going anywhere over the weekend and to keep an eye out for a phone call,” Dowell said.
According to Major League Baseball, if there's a confirmed positive test within an organization they must conduct contact tracing to identify all other clubs and MLB-affiliated individuals who had close contact with the infected individual.
Even though Dowell doesn't fall under those specific guidelines, she believes the Cardinals should have at least called.
Both Dowell and Helsley wore masks during the appointment, and the salon has gone through extra sanitation. She’s now quarantining at home awaiting her own test results as she’s had to reschedule appointments while she waits.
"If it's negative I'm free to go back to work but if not I'm quarantined until the 21st," the hair stylist said.
We took Dowell’s story to the Cardinals. Shortly after, Dowell said Helsley reached out to her to apologize. She said he told her it slipped his mind to tell her.
The Cardinals sent News 4 a statement saying:
"When we met with Ryan to discuss his positive status, we identified that he received a haircut.
He was instructed to follow up with everyone he came in contact with, including this individual, and this was an oversight unfortunately. We regret this and will take more ownership in the future."