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State oversees hotel disinfection after 2 possible virus cases

Royal Hawaiian voluntarily closes restaurant

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 8:08 p.m. HST, May 26, 2014

Some 100 guests and workers at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel fell sick from an infectious virus — called norovirus — about two weeks ago, and hotel officials said the number appeared to have decreased significantly.

But two new reports of similar symptoms about middle of last week prompted state health officials to personally supervise disinfection measures at the hotel, where the kitchen was shut down voluntarily by the hotel until Wednesday because it was a possible point of infection. The new cases have not been confirmed as resulting from norovirus.

"We've intensified our efforts," state epidemiologist Sarah Park said Monday. "Hopefully, this last ... cleaning will help to curtail it. We can't have this continuing ... It could be a new cycle."

Park said state sanitation employees were supervising the cleaning at the hotel Monday.

Royal Hawaiian spokeswoman Stephanie Dowling said the hotel is deeply sorry that a number of its guests and employees reported illnesses that the state confirmed were due to norovirus.

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