According to the Pierce County Department of Health, the week started with 41 reports of ill diners, which led to the closure of El Toro in Tacoma’s Westgate neighborhood Monday. By Wednesday, reports of ill customers had extended to its sister restaurant in University Place and that location also closed for sanitizing.
So far, about 10-15 people have reported illness after dining at the University Place location at 3820 Bridgeport Way W. The Tacoma location had 391 reports as of Thursday at its Westgate location at 5716 N. 26th St.
Diners who became ill reported they dined at the University Place location Jan. 6. At the Westgate location, diners became ill after visiting the restaurant between Dec. 31 and Jan. 8.
There might be more: The health department still is investigating reports. The numbers could increase.
“We don’t yet have an exact number because we have not interviewed all the people who have made illness reports. We continue to receive additional illness reports,” the health department said in a statement.
“We know two staff members at the Tacoma location worked while ill during the time customers there dined and later got sick. It’s still unclear if the outbreaks at the two locations are connected,” the health department reported. “Because of the nature of norovirus outbreaks, we may never know the exact affected items that caused illness. We know all the cases have dining at the El Toro Restaurants in common.”
If you ate at an El Toro and became ill, contact the health department to file a report at 253-798-4712. Email email@example.com or make an online report at tpchd.org/reportfoodborneillness.
Vomiting, diarrhea and generally feeling horrible. Also, some patients will experience a fever and headache. If you’re struck with norovirus, staying hydrated is important. The illness usually lasts one to three days. Symptoms after an infection can appear between 12 to 48 hours later.