Several hundred thousand Florida college students returned to campuses Monday. In addition to books the students were greeted with something new.
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.”
“Did you even know it was there?”
To her credit, Kelli has hand sanitizer in her purse. Each of the 11 state universities is coordinating education and communication messaging.
Lesley Sacher is the FSU Health Center Director.
“So we can let people know this is not new artwork. 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. One 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 the whole Tallahassee campus.
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.