Hepatitis A Precautions Taken At Balboa Park Amid Outbreak

Image Health generic 092506

Image Health generic 092506

In addition to the request to wash streets, the county also asked the city to "immediately expand access to public restrooms and wash stations within the city limits that are adjacent to at-risk populations", the Los Angeles Times reported.

In order to find housing opportunities for the homeless, the city has partnered with individuals in the private sector to fund operation costs.

"Working with homeless service providers, Mayor Faulconer has identified three locations for the temporary bridge shelters with the goal of opening one or more of them by the end of December".

The industrial tents will include beds, showers, restrooms and hand-washing stations.

- a vacated street at 16th Street and Newton Avenue for a shelter to be operated by the Alpha Project. According to CBS8, the city's mayoral spokeswoman Craig Gustafson assured that these cleaning-practices were scheduled to happen three times a week, every other week.

The declaration would focus on a lack of shelters.

While the city has worked on finding housing opportunities for the homeless, the decision also comes in the wake of a deadly hepatitis A outbreak, which has largely impacted the homeless.

In recent weeks, public health officials have said that, because the incubation period for hepatitis A ranges from 15 to 50 days, it may take several more months for any positive effects of the current sanitation campaign to be obvious.

Councilman David Alvarez proposed the shelter declaration almost two weeks ago, calling for immediate action because of the fatalities. There were 5,619 people reported homeless in San Diego earlier this year, 3,231 of whom were living on the streets without shelter, according to the Regional Task Force on the Homeless. In an August 31 letter from the county health department, officials asked the city to move forward with the sanitation measures and gave the city five days to respond with a plan, according to the LA Times. The city of San Diego said it would keep 14 restrooms open 24 hours a day in Balboa Park, where numerous city's homeless stay, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

In January's annual tally of the area's transient population, 5,619 homeless individuals were counted in the city of San Diego, a 10.3 percent increase from previous year.

In an attempt to take quick action last week, San Diego County moved forward with its own contractor, who installed 40 hand-washing stations in areas with large gatherings of homeless people.

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