A Chipotle store in Billerica, Massachusetts has been closed for two days now after one of its crew members tested positive for norovirus, while four more might have also been infected.
A report from the USA Today reveals that the same Chipotle branch has been temporarily closed after a a report of norovirus breakout circulated, and that a crew member has been infected with the highly contagious virus. The crew member experienced pain, nausea, and severe vomiting, symptoms indicative of the infection.
Richard Berube, chief of Billerica Board of Health, told USA Today that the restaurant may reopen its doors to the public on Thursday if all employees who would report to work will test negative for the virus. The local health bureau will collect stool samples for the examination as well as distribute norovirus symptoms questionnaire.
Before the current norovirus scare, Chipotle has been plagued by different health concerns, including E. coli. Although the restaurant chain management is not required to report to the health board about possible infections among the crew, Berube said it would have been better if the management notified them after confirming a case of norovirus.
“It probably would have been in their best interest to notify us, considering they had a confirmed case of norovirus,” Berube as quoted as saying by USA Today.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), norovirus is a highly contagious virus that can hit anyone at anytime. The virus can be passed around through direct contact with a person infected with the virus, eating contaminated food, and touching objects tainted with the virus.
The CDC adds that norovirus infection leads to about 19-20 million cases of acute gastroenteritis or inflammation of the stomach or intestine. Recent data also shows that the virus leads to 570-800 deaths a year in the U.S.