Hartford Marriott Can Reopen Ballroom After 60 Fall Ill

The city of Hartford ordered the downtown Marriott to shut down the ballroom for cleaning and sanitizing after reports of around 60 people who used the facility coming down with Norovirus-like symptoms between March 30 and April 4, but the hotel can now reopen and resume normal operations.  

Dr. Gary Rhule, director of the city of Hartford's Health and Human Services Department, released says the hotel complies with the department's health order from April 6 and city officials told hotel officials Monday that they can reopen the ballroom and resume normal operations.

The statement Rhule released on April 7 said there were reports of patrons at the Hartford Marriott and Connecticut Convention Center getting sick with Norovirus-like symptoms, including vomiting, after attending events at the hotel late last week and early this week. 

“On Monday, we received reports of approximately 20 students and several adults becoming ill while attending a three-day event at the Connecticut Convention Center and the Hartford Marriott sponsored by the Connecticut Music Educators Association. Since then, we have learned of similar illnesses involving two other groups that stayed and attended events at the Hartford Marriott last weekend and early this week,” Rhule said in a statement last week. 

He said the city’s Department of Health and Human Services would work with the state department of public health to speak with people who attended each of the events, as well as staff at the Convention Center and Marriott. 

NBC Connecticut learned the students used the ballroom as a place to rehearse.

“We have been informed by the City of Hartford Department of Health and Human Services that some of our recent guests have reported illness consistent with Norovirus. We are working closely with the local Department of Health and Human Services and are following their guidance to address the matter.  We take hotel hygiene and cleanliness very seriously, and the well-being of our guests remains one of our highest priorities. If you have further questions, please contact the City of Hartford Department of Health and Human Services,” Marriott said in a statement last week.

The state laboratory was conducting tests on samples from attendees and staff to help determine what the illness was. 

“The City of Hartford has ordered the Marriott to close its ballroom and surrounding areas in order to conduct a thorough cleaning and sanitization of the area. We have also advised the Marriott to take additional steps to ensure potentially affected areas of the hotel facility are properly cleaned and sanitized. The Marriott is cooperating fully in this process. The Connecticut Convention Center is not subject to the order the City imposed on the Marriott,” the statement from last week said. 

The health director said the specific events where people might have been impacted included the Connecticut Music Educator’s All-State Conference held between March 30 and April 1; the IBEW Union graduation dinner on April 1; and a software conference held by Hedberg Data Systems held between April 2 and April 4.

EDITOR'S NOTE: NBC Connecticut was told by the Hartford's Health and Human Services Department director that the Center for Disease Control was also investigating, but have found that this information is incorrect. 

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