As a means of preventing the spread of H1N1, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota distributed 15,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools today.
All public school teachers will receive hand sanitizer to keep on their desks for use.
According to Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, alcohol-based hand sanitizer will not only minimize the spread H1N1 by eliminating many forms of bacteria, but will raise awareness for students to take appropriate actions to stay healthy, like coughing into their sleeves and avoiding touching their face, eyes, and mouth.
Mayor Chris Coleman has also joined in the effort to prevent the spread of germs for students and teachers.
Coleman and Health Partners CEO Mary Brainerd visited New Horizon Academy in St. Paul today to remind pre-schoolers of the importance of germ prevention.
Dede Ouren, a registered nurse and infection control manager at Regions Hospital, will bring an indicator gel for students at the Academy. After washing their hands, an ultraviolent light will allow students to see what parts of their hands were not cleaned thoroughly.
The Health Partners mascot Pokey the Syringe was also on hand to remind students and staff about the importance of flu vaccinations.
"Minneapolis Public Schools has been preparing for the onset of influenza season and have taken measures to ensure that students, staff and families are educated and know the best ways to prevent getting sick and managing flu symptoms," said Carmen Teskey, MPS Nursing Service Manager, in a news release.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends school staff to routinely clean all areas that are frequently touched by students and staff and for students and staff with flu-like symptoms to stay at home.