GOLD BAR — La Hacienda voluntarily closed Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning for disinfection after reports of norovirus-like illnesses from a large catered order.
The Snohomish Health District said a small number of people had symptoms after eating take-out food prepared by the restaurant at 101 Ninth St. in Gold Bar.
While it remained possible the illness was caused by food, the health district says there appears to be a higher likelihood that those who became sick came into contact with a person already infected with the virus. That can happen when sharing utensils, using hands to pick up food and inadequate hand-washing, official said.
La Hacienda elected to close the restaurant for sanitation.
“We value our customers, and their safety is important to us,” said Ramone Lopez, La Hacienda manager. La Hacienda restaurants in Arlington and Marysville were not affected.
Norovirus, often mistakenly called stomach flu, spreads quickly by an infected person, contaminated food or water or by touching contaminated surfaces. Symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, headache, fever, chills and vomiting.
The health district said people should call the Communicable Disease Surveillance line at 425-339-5278 to report cases of illness at restaurants, schools, daycares and other spots where germs spread quickly.