MARTINEZ -- The community living center at the Martinez Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic was quarantined for more than a week due to a norovirus outbreak, according to a spokeswoman.

The agency closed the 120-bed community living center Feb. 9 and reopened it Tuesday.

To prevent the virus from spreading, patients were not allowed to check out of the facility, nor were new patients admitted, spokeswoman Robin Jackson said. Patients can stay at the center for several weeks for rehab following surgery.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Symptoms including vomiting, nausea, stomach cramping and diarrhea usually last a couple of days. Noroviruses are highly contagious and infect about 20 million people per year, according to the CDC.

Lisa P. White covers Martinez and Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925-943-8011. Follow her at Twitter.com/lisa_p_white.