Norovirus closes Applebee’s in Washington over weekend

A suspected outbreak of norovirus forced the Applebee’s restaurant on East Sunset Drive in Bellingham, Wash., to close over the weekend for extensive cleaning.

It reopened around noon Sunday.

Applebee’s spokesman Dan Smith said the closure was done “out of vomit.salman abundance of caution.”

Applebee’s idea of an abundance of caution was that 10-15 employees were sent home Friday morning after saying they felt sick or had called in sick Thursday evening and Friday morning.

“We decided that there was an outbreak going on among staff that we did not understand. We didn’t have it under control, and so we ordered the restaurant to close,” said Tom Kunesh, supervisor for the health department’s Food and Living Environment Program, of the early part of the investigation and closure that started Friday morning.

It was unknown how many restaurant-goers may have been sickened before the closure; Kunesh said the health department received a total of eight complaints, including four Monday.