Norovirus Suspected As 2 Dozen Fall Ill At Hockey Game
TAYLOR (WWJ) – More than two dozen kids are confirmed sick and Wayne County health officials think norovirus is to blame.
Health officials say about 30 kids playing in a youth hockey tournament at the Taylor Sportsplex facility on Telegraph Road became ill over the past 24 hours.
Several people complaining of flu-like symptoms were hospitalized for treatment. It happened Sunday night during a AAA youth hockey championship game at the Taylor sports complex. Officials said between 20 and 30 young hockey players fell ill simultaneously, playing on different hockey rinks.
Another team in a locker room hadn’t even taken the ice when they became sick. One game was postponed, as one referee says they were dropping before they even hit the ice complaining of flu-like symptoms including vomiting.
Carol Austerberry with the Wayne County Health Department said investigators are pretty certain about what they’re dealing with.
“Our thinking it’s norovirus … we’re basing that on, you know, the onset time, the symptoms that have been reported,” Austerberry told WWJ Newsradio 950. “Certainly, we can’t say that definitively because … we aren’t done with sampling and the test results have not come back.”
She said the water in the building is being tested too, but results won’t be in until Tuesday.
Most of those who got sick were taken to area hospitals by their parents. Taylor Fire Chief Robert Tompos said the building had to be evacuated.
“We pulled everybody out the building and we shut down all activities until we can try to get a handle on what possibly caused it,” he said.
There were about 200 people, in all, at the sports complex at the time.
Similar incidents have occurred before due to harmful emissions being released by zamboni ice machine, according to Tompos. However, Tompos said there were no complaints regarding fumes.
“Even at the highest use of the zambonis, they weren’t into any range that would be considered hazardous,” Tompos said.
The SportsPlex is now closed down until further notice.