Norovirus outbreak: why do bad things seem to happen at Chuck E Cheese?

Health officials say they’re seriously concerned about an outbreak of Norovirus linked to a well-known restaurant. Hundreds of people walk through the doors for birthday parties – but when Kelly Green left this Chuck E Cheese’s she was not celebrating.

“I started getting really sick to my stomach and feeling super nauseous. I got an extreme case of bad, bad diarrhea,” Kelly Green said. “It was like worse than I ever experienced.

norovirus-2After talking to others who attended the party, Green soon learned she had a case of Norovirus.

Green said she contacted The Hennepin County Health Department. Soon after, health officials asked her to submit a stool sample to see if she had contracted the virus.

No one from Chuck E Cheese’s would talk on camera. A spokesperson told KARE 11 News employees sanitize hard surfaces throughout the day and perform a deep clean at night. Late Thursday, the Chuck E Cheese’s released the following statement:

We are aware that the Maple Grove Health Department launched an investigation this week into a few reported cases of Norovirus contraction potentially stemming from a birthday party at a Chuck E. Cheese’s location. We are also aware that Minnesota has seen numerous outbreaks across the state this year – more than 40 reported cases since Jan. 1, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, so we are cooperating fully with officials to learn as much as possible about this situation.

While the investigation is ongoing, preliminary reports have determined that someone entered our restaurant while ill and transmitted the virus to other patrons through close contact. The cleanliness of our facility has not been called into question. As we are always concerned about the health and safety of the families who visit our stores and we are aware that the Norovirus has plagued many residents this spring, we will continue to be hyper vigilant in maintaining our rigorous sanitation standards.

Chuck E Cheese’s also provided video showing dispensers with hand sanitizer throughout their restaurants.

But hand sanitizers don’t work so well on Norovirus.