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Cleveland Circle Chipotle cleared to reopen

A worker cleaned the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Cleveland Circle after the restaurant was ordered closed amid a norovirus outbreak.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

The Chipotle Mexican Grill in Cleveland Circle has been cleared to reopen more than two weeks after city inspectors closed it because 136 Boston College students and others who had eaten there fell ill with norovirus.

William Christopher, commissioner of the city’s Inspectional Services Department, said the restaurant passed a final inspection Wednesday and can reopen as early as Thursday.

“We will now get it resupplied and reopened quickly,” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold wrote in an e-mail Wednesday. He did not specify which day it will open.

City inspectors were unable to pinpoint how the norovirus was transmitted, Christopher said. But several workers tested positive for the infection, including an employee who came to work Dec. 3 despite feeling ill, in violation of restaurant sick policy. Follow-up tests found that nearly all the employees are now free of the virus, and those still carrying it are barred from entering the building, Christopher said.


Norovirus causes a day or two of severe vomiting and diarrhea. Most people get better on their own, but a few in the Chipotle outbreak received hospital outpatient treatment for dehydration.

The city ordered the restaurant shut Dec. 7 after an inspection found three critical violations: the employee working while sick, meat not heated adequately, and multiple illnesses linked to the restaurant.

But Wednesday, Christopher said, inspectors did not find other major problems.

“Generally, the place was run pretty well,” he said.

The Cleveland Circle opening will be a bright spot for Chipotle amid a seemingly ceaseless stream of bad news.

Felice J. Freyer can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @felicejfreyer