Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer

COMMENT: I asked this question before, and it has not been addressed.

If I recall correctly, a few years ago students were forbidden to bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer to school with them.  Is this policy still in effect?  Considering the current situation with the “new” corona virus, such a policy would seem ill-advised.

RESPONSE: The Centers for Disease Control and the NYS Health Department are both advising that alcohol-based hand sanitizers may be used in schools, though both maintain the best means of cleaning one’s hands is through handwashing.

This advisory was issued this past Monday, March 9 –
Students and staff should practice good hand hygiene to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Hand hygiene includes traditional hand washing (with soap and warm water, lathering for a minimum of 20 seconds) or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (60% alcohol or greater) when soap and water are not available, and hands are not visibly dirty. If alcohol-based hand sanitizers are not allowed in the school, hand sanitizers that do not contain alcohol may also be useful for killing germs on hands.

During the Swine Flu outbreak several years ago, schools were advised not to allow alcohol-based sanitizers because of the fear of students trying to drink them and the fumes are very strong, which could irritate others. At that time, Scotia-Glenville recommended water-based hand sanitizers.

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