Museum takes steps to prevent spread of flu

Posted Nov. 04, 2009, at 11 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — It’s not just schools experiencing high absenteeism due to the H1N1 flu.

At the Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor, executive director Andrea Stark said attendance is down at the interactive, child-centered facility.

“We’re seeing a real decrease in the number of people coming through the door,” she said Wednesday. The general economic downturn may be partly to blame, but Stark said she expects many parents are choosing to keep healthy children out of public settings due to fear about the unfolding flu epidemic.

Stark said the museum, which always strives to maintain “a safe and sanitary environment,” has implemented extra measures to help prevent the spread of the virus.

New signs remind visitors to cover coughs and sneezes and to wash hands frequently, and bottles of hand sanitizer are strategically placed throughout, she said.

In addition, cleaning protocols have been stepped up to ensure that surfaces touched by children and their families are as sanitary and germ-free as possible.

Stark said anyone who shows up at the museum with obvious signs of illness will not be admitted, helping to keep the Maine Discovery Museum a safe place for children and families.

mhaskell@bangordailynews.net

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