UPDATE: Food service halted at Stanhope resort after 115 people get sick

Ryan Ross
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Stanhope Beach Resort and Conference Centre

The public health office has ordered the Stanhope Beach Resort and Conference Centre to stop serving food after a norovirus outbreak made at least 115 people sick.

Dr. Heather Morrison, the province's chief public health officer, said stool samples her office got back Tuesday confirmed it was norovirus and based on the number of people who got sick, she issued a health order to suspend all food and beverage service.

That includes the resort and the Red Dory Restaurant.

"Basically when we hear of this many people sick we don't want it to happen to anyone else so to err on the side of caution we've gone to this step of suspending the food and beverage service," she said.

That suspension is until further notice.

Morrison said her office had reports from people who attended four weddings at the resort between Thursday and Sunday.

This is the second norovirus outbreak at the resort in recent weeks with more than 60 people who became sick after three events at the resort the weekend of Aug. 17.

The virus spreads from infected people, consuming contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.

Proper hygiene can help prevent spreading the virus because it can move from person to person, such as by shaking hands, and can contaminate food during preparation.

The virus can also spread through respiratory particles when an infected person flushes the toilet.

Symptoms can take a few days to emerge and they include diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.

Morrison said there weren't any reported cases at the resort between the first outbreak and the latest.

The public health office is still investigating the latest outbreak and sent food and water samples away for testing, she said.

"Until we're sure that there aren't more people becoming ill and that we're satisfied with the cleaning and disinfection processes that are in place we won't advise re-opening until that time."

Morrison said there will be an inspection before the resort re-opens its food service.

"The resort is cooperating very well," she said.

Heather White is one of the people who got sick at the resort, but in her case she had to suffer through it at her own wedding.

White got married Sunday and said she woke up that morning at about 3:30 a.m. when she started to get sick.

"Honestly, I was devastated," she said.

When she first heard the reports from August, White was nervous about having her wedding at the resort, but said she trusted in the fact the public health office had cleared it.

"Basically we're just trying to do our best to make sure the events go smoothly somewhere else other than Stanhope," Paul Murphy, DP Murphy's vice-president of finance and corporate counsel

"I felt more secure," she said.

White said she ended up missing out on the first part of her wedding day, including all the preparations, as she stayed in bed and waited for the medications she took to take effect.

"Eventually things sort of subsided and I was able to get up," she said.

Of the people who attended her wedding, White said she heard from 55 who said they got sick, including her daughter who was up all night Monday.

White said the resort staff didn't mention any problems when she talked to them about what was happening to her.

But despite everything that happened, White said Sunday was still a special, beautiful day.

"Thankfully I was able to get through it," she said.

Stanhope Beach Resort and Conference Centre is a DP Murphy property and Paul Murphy, the company's vice-president of finance and corporate counsel, said resort staff are talking to people who booked events to try and help them find other venues while the order is in place.

"Basically we're just trying to do our best to make sure the events go smoothly somewhere else other than Stanhope," he said.

Murphy said the first reports of sick guests came in Monday and nothing major changed at the resort between the first and second outbreak.

The resort maintained a high level of cleanliness and sent staff members who showed symptoms home immediately, he said.

"We've maintained that through till the present time."

Murphy said there were no indications another outbreak was coming and the management thought the resort was through it.

"Certainly we were disappointed it appears not to have been resolved."

The resort is cooperating with the public health office, Murphy said, and he agrees with the decision to shut down food service.

"We think it's the proper course of action at this time."

In the meantime, the resort's food and beverage areas are undergoing a complete disinfection, Murphy said.







  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • grim reaper
    September 13, 2012 - 19:47

    When you all saw how cheap it was to book a wedding reception at Stanhope you should have wondered why. Serves you right. Now the rest have nowhere to go as all the legit, long established venues were booked by those with brains. Carry on whining.

  • Stanhope Lawsuit
    September 07, 2012 - 20:31

    Everyone who has been affected by the Norovirus outbreak could you please send your contact info. To stanhopelawsuit@yahoo.ca Myself and numerous others have attempted to contact the resort and get some sort of compensation (I.E. A refund) for the negligence in not notifying anyone about the recent outbreaks leading up to everyone's events. Therefore, the final solution is to press them with legal action.

    September 07, 2012 - 08:27

    I am strongly requesting that anyone that has been to Stanhope Resort whether on holidays or to a function there and got ill, please contact me by email as I would love to talk to you regarding dates and whether or not the illness was reported. My eamil address is cricri_220@hotmail.com Thank you very much for your help with this survey.

  • info
    September 07, 2012 - 06:23

    See the link below and call the number on the right hand side. I'm surprised that a call was not made for those who got sick to phone the health department. How can they say there were no new cases without at least asking people to call them, or even better, proactively phoning guests and asking them directly. Apparently the onus is on you, otherwise they consider you not sick. http://www.gov.pe.ca/health/index.php3?number=1020741&lang=E

  • profoundly curious too
    September 06, 2012 - 18:05

    I also wonder if certain individuals made the correct judgement calls .I would think that peoples lives are more important than the almighty dollar or not going above and beyond routine protocol .I hope a good nights sleep is achievable .

    September 06, 2012 - 11:08

    When the 1st reported outbreak occurred on August 17th, did the Department of Health close the facility down and do an inspection again before reopening the facility? And where there no other reports, because I understand that a wedding a week before on August 25th also had guests who were sick. When a woman was checked into the QEH to be put on intervenus after attending a wedding, was this not reported to the Department of Health? How did everything stay so hush hush?

  • Lauren
    September 05, 2012 - 22:26

    Hmmm, my family ate there. We all fell victim to it the next evening. Do the authorities want more cases submitted so they can get an actual count? And to who would we submit? We just went there for lunch, but it seems to have ruined a family vacation.

  • Upset mother of the bride
    September 05, 2012 - 17:15

    It's interesting to hear Paul Murphy say that they are working with the weddings etc. to figure out alternatives. They did not contact my family. We heard it on the news yesterday and had to contact them, so far with very little results. It took many calls to Stanhope Beach Resort to even talk to someone involved. At noon today we were told that she would be in soon and someone would get in touch with us. Even after that eventual call we are still a no farther ahead. I would think they should be exploring alternate venues and accommodations for the wedding/reception/dance/ plus accommodations for our many guests who had booked rooms at their resort for this wedding. I am not impressed with the way they have handled our situation.

    September 05, 2012 - 14:50

    I booked my families reservations over a month ago and we too fell ill recently. I would have thought the resort, out of common decency, would have advised us when they knew two weeks before our arrival. They did not. Not a peep,even after we arrived. You want to thank someone, Thank the guardian. Or else, we would of never known.

  • You have no clue
    September 05, 2012 - 13:32

    re: Fan of Stanhope: It was not the Board of Health and or the resort with quick action! It was all the people who stayed at the resort, who had called the Dept. of Health reporting the illness. Get your facts straight!!

    • Upset
      September 05, 2012 - 17:22

      I am stunned with some of these comments supporting the resort. Lets get the facts straight. The resort had an outbreak Aug 17, since then they told the public and the wedding parties the hotel was save and clean. They assured them. Then 2 weeks later 4 wedding parties became very ill. People have had to miss work, cancel travel, honeymoons etc. Also it was just not the weddings. Even when the hotel became aware they still served others in the restaurant on Sunday and Monday knowing people were sick from the weekend. The resort hasn’t even made contact with the wedding parties as of yet to say sorry! Proper hand washing would not have prevented this, one wedding had 5 doctors on the guest list, all who became sick. They will find them self-surprised as will PEI health when they are hit with a class action law suit. It is not 115 that have become sick, the number is still growing to at least 160 at this hour.

  • Ulfric
    September 05, 2012 - 10:53

    Lets put it this way. If you are on vacation and start to feel sick, what are you going to do? You are going to try and stick it out and hope it's nothing and will blow over. By that time you have infected others in the resort. Including cleaning staff who share the same space as the cooking staff. Before you know it the whole resort is infected before a single symptom is felt besides the initial sick person. You can't really blame the resort for this. The fact of the matter is, it could have spread long before a single person felt any symptoms.

    • Really?
      September 05, 2012 - 17:57

      I worked there before and ninety percent of the time the cleaning staff is gone before they even start cooking so the people that were responsible for cleaning were the cooking staff/kitchen employees

      September 06, 2012 - 09:19

      The issue isn't whether we should be blaming the Resort for the virus being present or not, it is whether they were well aware of these instances and were choosing not to let anyone know or do anything about it. That is what is unacceptable.

  • Totally in awe
    September 05, 2012 - 10:24

    I am also shocked and angry that this has gone on so long....someone need's to be held accountable ! I agree with all these comment's ! I stayed at the resort on the weekend and i also became sick on Saturday through Sunday and still feel unwell !.Does someone have to die before tha Health Department and DP Murphy wake up ! This Company from public knowledge does own a lot of properties in PEI ,NS and NB .Just go looking...it easy to find !. The Resort is large with many public area's and several bar's and kitchen's .

  • Fan of Stanhope
    September 05, 2012 - 10:13

    I am a fan of the food at Stanhope. I attended a wedding there earlier in the summer and found the food was spectacular. I also beleive this resort management did the right thing by calling in the Dept. of Health. For those who got sick, you have my sympathy as I too have had noro virus. All it takes is one person with the disease, and it spreads like wildfire. I understand that people can avoid the disease with simple hand washing....and I would suggest that the fact the resort was hit twice this summer is an indication that someone in the kitchen, perhaps, is a carrier? Thank you to the resort for quick action in contacting the Dept of Health and to the Dept of Health for quick action also. Nice to know that responsible owners and the government agency made good decisions

  • Angry Bird
    September 05, 2012 - 09:24

    Did this not happen a month ago at the same resort????????? Should a major fine not be in order. If this is how they run this place, I hope they don't own other restaurants on the island?

  • What...
    September 05, 2012 - 06:48

    I was at a wedding and was sick Saturday morning (along with many many others who attended the same wedding). We notified Stanhope early Saturday morning and THEY called the health inspector. So saying the first reports came in on Monday is a lie. By Saturday evening they had collected multiple samples from people who went to the past few weddings. They knew there was a problem long before the wedding on Sunday.

  • Rose Anne Pescod
    September 04, 2012 - 23:58

    I was so sad to hear about the virus that caused my nieces wedding day to become such a nightmare.....The most important day of her life was spend sick as a dog. I feel the Department of Health for PEI certainly needs to answer questions about their decision to give the Resort a "Clean bill of health", after just the week before 60 people fall ill from the virus. Also, management of the resort's decision to remain open after a virus was confirmed. Not fair to the public....to the wedding parties. especially the bride and groom......Someone needs to be accountable in the Department of Health and Resort Management.

  • about time
    September 04, 2012 - 14:30

    There would be way more than 115 people as they were all highly contagious and have spread it to others around them as well, I being one of them. Too bad so many had to get sick before it was shut down.