This story is quite a journey.
Last Friday, the Chick-Fil-A in the Fayette Mall in Lexington, Kentucky, voluntarily closed. The reason for the closure: a “large number” (according to the Lexington Herald-Leader) of employees got sick.
By Monday, the Fayette Mall had closed its food court entirely, and required all its tenants to do the same.
As of today, approximately 350 people have fallen ill, and the illness in question is norovirus. “Most of the people who reported the illness became sick 24 to 48 hours after eating at the food court. They experienced fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, which is consistent with norovirus symptoms,” writes the Lexington Herald-Leader. In their piece on the, ah, incident, the paper also embedded this adorably disturbing video to help clarify some things. Among them: what norovirus is, how it’s spread, and what it looks like when cute cartoons ralph.
For those who dislike animated vom:
Norovirus is a very contagious virus that can easily be spread through direct contact with an infected person by consuming contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces then putting your unwashed hands near your mouth, the health department said.
By 2 p.m. Tuesday, the food court had been thoroughly sanitized—“Tables, chairs, corridors, floors, restrooms and the children’s play areas,” as well as the restaurants themselves were tackled—and inspected by the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. They got another visit on Thursday. They’re still open, so apparently all is well at Chick-Fil-A Zero and its surrounding environs.
We at The Takeout maintain our nostalgic fondness for food courts, but this is diminishing it somewhat.
In closing, wash your damn hands, America.