670 Stafford HS students absent Monday; high number of flu cases reported during illness outbreak

Stafford High School officials say 670 students were absent Monday as they continue to look for ways to mitigate the spread of an illness outbreak that has struck the facility.

"Working with the Virginia Department of Health and the Rappahannock Area Health Department, we have identified that a number of students have tested positive for influenza," a school spokesperson told FOX 5 Monday. The school will remain open, however, all school sports and activities at the high school will be canceled through Tuesday.

Officials say deep cleaning and disinfecting will continue each day until attendance returns to normal. They also say they have investigated the water fountains and meals service at the school but do not believe there is a connection between those areas and the illnesses.

The outbreak left 1,000 students who were experiencing flu-like symptoms, stomach pains and other gastrointestinal symptoms out sick last week.

The school said travel students are encouraged to follow strict mitigation strategies when coming to building. They said they will re-evaluate activities later this week.

Students who have missed class will be given time to complete make-up work upon their return to school.