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UW Funds Available to Purchase Hand Sanitizers, Disinfectant Wipes

September 26, 2009

UW's associate vice president of fiscal administration has approved the use of university funds to purchase hand sanitizers and surface disinfectant wipes.

This change in university policy is due to the current situation with the H1N1 influenza virus, says Nancy Fox, director of Environmental Health and Safety at UW. She offers the following guidelines for departments wishing to purchase such items:

-- Ensure the hand sanitizers contain at least 60 percent alcohol;

-- Regular hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is preferable;

-- For surface sanitizing wipes, any wipe labeled household disinfectant is adequate;

-- Sanitize commonly touched surfaces -- light switches, phones, computer key boards, door knobs, etc.

UW Environmental Health and Safety and Risk Management Departments are coordinating the purchase and distribution of alcohol-based hand sanitizers for placement in high and moderately high traffic areas on campus.

"Please remember that the flu is spread not just by contact with contaminated surfaces, including hands and commonly touched surfaces," Fox says. "Uncontrolled coughs and sneezes easily spread the flu. Remember to cough or sneeze into a tissue or sleeve. Dispose of tissue and wash hands following the sneeze or cough."

Use of UW funds to purchase the sanitizers and wipes will be in effect until further notice, she says.

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