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Colleges Spend Millions to Prepare to Reopen Amid Coronavirus

Summary:
Schools solicit donations as they order masks, hand sanitizer and thermometers, upgrade heating systemsBy Melissa Korn of The WSJ. Excerpts: "As colleges around the country map out plans to reopen their campuses in the fall, they have embarked on some unique and pricey shopping expeditions: sourcing miles of plexiglass, hundreds of thousands of face masks and, in the case of the University of Central Florida, trying to get in an order for 1,200 hand-sanitizer stations before neighboring theme parks could buy them all up. Costs for protective gear, cleaning supplies and labor for employees to take students’ temperatures and conduct hourly wipe-downs of doorknobs are already running into the millions of dollars."In Florida, one of the first states to reopen for business during the

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Schools solicit donations as they order masks, hand sanitizer and thermometers, upgrade heating systems

By Melissa Korn of The WSJ. Excerpts:

"As colleges around the country map out plans to reopen their campuses in the fall, they have embarked on some unique and pricey shopping expeditions: sourcing miles of plexiglass, hundreds of thousands of face masks and, in the case of the University of Central Florida, trying to get in an order for 1,200 hand-sanitizer stations before neighboring theme parks could buy them all up.
Costs for protective gear, cleaning supplies and labor for employees to take students’ temperatures and conduct hourly wipe-downs of doorknobs are already running into the millions of dollars.

"In Florida, one of the first states to reopen for business during the coronavirus pandemic, the University of Central Florida in Orlando will issue one reusable, washable face covering each to all students, faculty and staff—about 100,000 items. The school ordered another 250,000 disposable masks for visitors and those who forget their face coverings. The bill for masks was $309,000.
The school, which had 69,500 students last year and expects about 30% of classes to be taught face-to-face this fall, spent another $491,000 on 1,200 touchless hand-sanitizer dispensers, 600 stations for disinfecting-wipe dispensers and many thousands of refills."

"Other big-ticket items for Central Florida include $500,000 to upgrade ventilation systems with ultraviolet lighting that can help kill bacteria. It will spend $600,000 to retrofit doors with motion-sensor technology or foot-operated openers and to install $54-apiece plexiglass panels in the welcome center, student advising office and other high-traffic areas where social distancing isn’t really possible.The school is also budgeting an extra $3 million for labor and materials costs tied to increased cleaning of common areas, elevator buttons, door handles and bathrooms."

Other things schools are doing include:

-contract with Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings for mass testing, $350,000 for upgraded heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment, and $260,000 for all 8,500 students to get three washable masks

-infrared technology that can detect potentially feverish people entering high-traffic areas

-buying 5 miles of plexiglass to date to help protect faculty in classrooms


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