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Look out germs, "Clean Hands" are coming.

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From doorknobs to money to food, harmful germs can live almost anywhere. The need for hand washing in the region is critical, according to hospitals and local health officials. The grassroots Clean Hands Campaign – launched simultaneously in Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto counties – kicks off this week to celebrate National Clean Hands Week (Sept. 20-26). The campaign goal is simple, but essential: To help stop the spread of illness and keep Suncoast families safe through frequent hand washing, the single most important means of preventing infection.

Health officials are encouraging individuals, businesses, schools and civic organizations to browse the campaign’s new website and join the campaign. To join, participants need only to commit to three simple steps:

  • Show support for the campaign by displaying the Clean Hands sign
  • Make hand washing easy and accessible for visitors, customers/members and/or employees at entry and exit points of facilities, and reinforce hand hygiene in restrooms
  • Spread the word by sharing Clean Hands information with up to five other organizations

The Clean Hands Campaign is sponsored by the Health Provocateur Project. The Health Provocateur Project, an initiative of the Community Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP), is a collaboration of all area health department and hospitals in Charlotte, DeSoto and Sarasota counties.

The campaign is being underwritten in part by a grant from Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation. For more information about the Clean Hands Campaign, visit their website at For up-to-date information on seasonal and H1N1 flu information, visit

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