Kalakaua Gardens reopens kitchen after suspected norovirus outbreak

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The Department of Health gave Kalakaua Gardens the green light to open their kitchen on Friday. It was forced to close Thursday morning after residents became ill from what they believe to be norovirus. 

Three hundred people live or work at Kalakaua Gardens, staff members deep cleaned the facility Friday after 40 people showed symptoms of norovirus throughout the week. 

“Ever since we voluntarily—with the recommendation of the State— shut down the kitchen, we had gone through every inch of the kitchen to make sure it was disinfected and cleaned and steamed,” said Tom Eustace, Kalakaua Gardens’ director of sales and marketing. 

The Department of Health says a lot of outbreaks happen in busy areas like hospitals, care homes, cruise ships and in Las Vegas with slot machines. 

“So basically [norovirus] is what they call oral fecal transmission which means it originates in the gut of humans,” said Peter Oshiro, DOH environmental health program manager. 

The virus can occur from not washing your hands after using the bathroom, or caring for someone who’s ill and vomiting, or even after changing a baby’s diaper. 

When someone doesn’t wash their hands, it spreads. Then the affected person can spread it by touching door knobs, or utensils at buffet lines.  

Symptoms of norovirus include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and abdominal pains.

“At the current moment we only have about six residents that are still kind-of getting better from some of the symptoms of this norovirus,” Eustace said. 

Two residents still remain hospitalized. 

For now, staff members are bringing food and medicine to all resident rooms.  

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