Hundreds Absent From Stafford High School Monday After 1,000 Students Report Flu-Like Symptoms

The Northern Virginia school will resume activities and sports practices on Tuesday, but games between schools will still be canceled, officials say

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Nearly a third of students at a high school in Stafford County, Virginia, were absent Monday following an outbreak of illness in which 1,000 students reported flu-like symptoms.

“A number” of students tested positive for influenza, Stafford County Public Schools Chief Communications Officer Sandra K. Osborn said in a statement Monday.

The school canceled activities and athletic events to prevent the illness from spreading. The Virginia Department of Health has recommended keeping the school open with mitigation measures, Osborn said.

Later Monday, Osborn said the high school would resume activities and athletic practices that involved Stafford High students on Tuesday. Games and matches with other schools will remain canceled through Tuesday, she said.

Stafford High School said it is reopening Monday after 1,000 students had flu-like symptoms. The school cancelled activities over the weekend to prevent the spread of the sickness.

Water fountains and meal services were investigated, but officials don’t believe they are connected to the rash of illnesses.

Half of the 2,100 students at Stafford High School had flu-like and gastrointestinal symptoms on Friday, Osborn told News4.


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On Monday, 670 students were absent, Osborn said.

The school was deep cleaned and disinfected over the weekend, officials said in a release.

“We will continue to clean vigorously each day until attendance returns to normal,” Osborn said.

Officials will re-evaluate whether activities can return later this week.

This is a developing story. Stay with News4 for more updates.

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