Defiant New York barber sick with coronavirus after cutting hair through pandemic
An Iranian youth gets a haircut in an uptown Tehran barber's shop (AFP Photo/Atta Kenare)

A New York barber who defied his state's pandemic lockdown orders has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

NBC News reports that Ulster County Department of Health and Mental Health announced this week that a publicly unidentified barber in the city of Kingston had contracted coronavirus after weeks of "illicitly" cutting hair despite orders that he remain closed.

The department advised anyone who had received a haircut at the barber shop to immediately get tested for COVID-19.

"Learning that a barbershop has been operating illicitly for weeks with a COVID-19 positive employee is extraordinarily disheartening," said Ulster County Health Commissioner Dr. Carol Smith. "As much as we would all like to go out and get a professional haircut, this kind of direct contact has the potential to dramatically spread this virus throughout our community and beyond."

Barber shops, nail salons, and other personal care businesses were ordered closed on March 22nd, although New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said that the state will soon lift some restrictions for areas that had reached certain health benchmarks.