The Casper-Natrona County Public Health Department says state of Wyoming epidemiologists are drawing closer to completing an exhaustive investigation into a Norovirus outbreak that sickened several hundred customers of a newly-opened Casper restaurant last month.

Public health director Robert Harrington says local and state health agencies have officially linked 306 Norovirus cases with the Golden Corral restaurant in Casper.

There’s no question about it, those 306 did have exposure at the Golden Corral restaurant in the proper incubation period before their illness,” Harrington said. “Their symptoms fit with the illness and they got sick at that restaurant.”

The Wyoming Department of Epidemiology is slated to release its final report regarding the outbreak later this week. Harrington says the preliminary report circulating within his agency shows a strong probability of something happening at Casper's Golden Corral over the Dec. 8 weekend.

The real strong message is that there's a definite, classic curve that shows that there was a point-source outbreak December 7th through 10th at Golden Corral restaurant.”

Health officials say Denver-based Golden DBL Inc., the owner of Casper's Golden Corral franchise, has been cooperative with the health department’s ongoing investigation. The company owns several Golden Corral locations across Wyoming and Colorado.

Harrington says the health department has spent roughly $7,000 on the investigation itself. He also says fines will likely not be levied against Golden Corral unless criminal charges are filed.