Health officials in King County, WA are currently investigating an norovirus-like outbreak linked to an Auburn Dave & Buster’s.

As of Apr. 9, there has been 12 cases with symptoms that are suggestive of norovirus- vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, chills, and fever. It is how not clear how norovirus was spread within the restaurant and the investigation is ongoing.

Image.Transylvania Public Health

Since April 5, 2019, 5 people from a single meal party reported becoming ill after consuming food and beverage from Dave & Buster’s in Auburn on March 31, 2019. There has since been at least 7 employees identified who experienced symptoms consistent with norovirus dating back to March 21, 2019. At least one employee worked while ill with norovirus-like symptoms.

Investigators visited the restaurant on April 5, 2019, and learned of multiple ill employees. Investigators also learned of ill customers at the restaurant on March 30, 2019, including a customer who vomited in the play area and one that vomited in a restroom, potentially contaminating these areas with norovirus. Investigators observed that the restaurant’s cleaning solution was not adequate to kill norovirus on surfaces.

Dave and Buster’s closed on April 5, 2019, and remained closed for several days for cleaning and disinfection. All ready-to-eat foods that were processed before the facility closed were thrown out. Investigators made sure that managers knew that ill staff are not allowed back to work until they have been free from symptoms for 48 hours.


The restaurant was re-inspected on April 6, 2019, to ensure that the facility was properly cleaned. And a third visit was conducted on April 8, 2019. The restaurant was allowed to reopen on April 8, 2019. The facility will be inspected again in two weeks to make sure it is in compliance with food safety rules and laws.

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that frequently spreads person-to-person and is often associated with food. Norovirus illness often has a sudden onset of nausea and vomiting and/or watery diarrhea with cramps. A low-grade fever, chills, and body aches sometimes occur.

Norovirus rarely causes severe complications. Dehydration is the most common complication, particularly among young children and the elderly. No vaccine is available for norovirus.