RICHMOND, Va. -

An official at Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center in Midlothian says about 30 employees have come down with a gastrointestinal illness.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Gordon said that officials believe the bug was spread through an employee lounge area.

The hospital workers called in sick Friday. Hospital spokeswoman Charlotte Perkins said Saturday that workers must get health checks in order to be cleared before they can go into a patient area. Perkins says the earliest they'll return to work is Sunday.

Gordon says the first symptoms were reported Thursday night and in some cases have ceased.

Gordon says patients were unaffected by the illness