When reached by email on Tuesday, the Loudoun County Health Department, which has jurisdiction over the shuttered restaurant, confirmed officials are investigating the incident but could not yet say for certain the cause of the illness was norovirus. Chipotle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"We are working with the facility to actively investigate the situation," David Goodfriend, the department's director, said. "At this point we cannot confirm the cause of the individuals’ complaints. Norovirus is the most common cause of food related outbreaks, so is part of the consideration. If testing can be performed, we would likely find those results later this week."
In case you're wondering at this point, norovirus is no joke. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains, the highly contagious illness often involves symptoms like stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting and it's the leading cause of illness outbreaks from contaminated food in the US. Food workers who are sick with norovirus are frequently the source of the outbreaks, according to the health agency.