Norovirus update: Outbreak over, Richmond hotels open for business

The Richmond hotel and associated restaurant at the centre of last week’s norovirus outbreak is now gradually returning to normal service.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) confirmed to the Richmond News on Tuesday that the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel on Westminster Highway began a graduated return to operations over the long weekend for both guest rooms and food services.

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VCH also confirmed that, although tests for norovirus proved positive from samples provided by both hotel guests and staff, it now considers the outbreak to be over.

Last week, the News reported how at least 80 people – 40 guests and 40 staff – were hit by a suspected norovirus outbreak at the hotel.

The neighbouring Hilton hotel also closed its Cavu bar and restaurant as a precaution, after one of its staff, who also worked at the Sheraton, reported signs of the virus.

Hundreds of Mother’s Day diners were left without brunch dates the previous weekend, after the outbreak closed Harold’s Bistro in the Sheraton and Cavu in the Hilton.

However, Sanjeet Sadana, general manager at the Hilton, said last week there was “no reported guest sickness.”

Both hotels were deep-cleaning the food and beverage last week.

Norovirus is a group of viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis, an infection of the digestive tract (stomach and intestine).

The virus can also be spread on surfaces like countertops or sink taps. The virus can survive for a long time on these surfaces if they are not properly cleaned.

People infected usually get better within a few days.

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