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Hand Sanitizers Greet Students

August 24th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Several hundred thousand Florida college students returned to campuses today.  As Mike Vasilinda tells us, in addition to books the students were greeted with something new.

FSU and other state universities also have plans to ask students to use face masks if they are coughing, or are sitting next to someone who has a cough. The schools also plan to use Facebook, Twitter, and the big score board at football games to get the word out to practice sanitary behavior.

Dozens of hand sanitizing stations are now in place on college campuses across the state. At the FSU library, students walked by the station by the hundreds without stopping. Just when you thought one would, they moved on. Kelli Wheeler missed it completely.

“You walked by without using that hand sanitizer. Are you worried about Swine Flu?”

“Not too worried about it, no,” Wheeler said.

Did you even know it was there?

“Not really,” she said.

To her credit, Kelli has hand sanitizer in her purse. Each of the 11 state universities is coordinating education and communication messaging.

“So we can let people know this is not new artwork,” FSU Health Center Director Lesley Sacher said. “Not like a statue that’s there for your viewing pleasure. It’s something to be used.”

For campus health officials, it is a question of when, not if, someone comes down with the H1N1 virus.

This stand and about 2,000 doses of the hand cleaner cost about 130 dollars. The problem is there aren’t enough of them to go around.

Suppliers can’t deliver enough of the sanitizing stands. Refills are already sold out. While most students are walking by, that is likely to change when the first case of swine flu hits a campus.  Health officials say they don’t know how much sanitizer they’ll go through, but even in a tight budget year, they vow to keep the stands supplied.

FSU and other state universities also have plans to ask students to use face masks if they are coughing, or are sitting next to someone who has a cough. The schools also plan to use Facebook, Twitter, and the big score board at football games to get the word out to practice sanitary behavior.

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