With the threat of H1N1 looming, large gathering areas — like malls, could be a source for spreading the virus.

As she watched her two little girls play on the playground in Southcentre Mall yesterday, Angela Klepatz was surprised to learn there weren’t any hand sanitizers readily available near the play area or in the mall.

“I thought for sure there should be hand sanitizers, I was surprised not to see any. I keep sanitizer in my purse even,” she said.

Klepatz said she is teaching her two-year-old and three-year-old daughters to wash their hands often and not to touch equipment and then touch their faces, but she still takes extra precautions wherever she goes.

While Southcentre Mall spokesperson Krista Moroz said the shopping centre has an H1N1 pandemic plan in place, the details are limited.

“We are currently monitoring the situation but right now it’s business as usual. We have a plan in place if things were to elevate,” she said.

Marlborough Mall spokesperson Kim Wiltse said it was one of the first malls in the city to put a pandemic plan in place that included management participating in an online training course and information packages for stores in the mall.

“We also have hand sanitizers at all of the entrances and signs in the bathrooms reminding people of proper sneezing and hand washing. We’re almost overdoing the clean,” she said.

Chinook Centre, Market Mall and Sunridge Mall were not able to respond before press time.

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