San Diego plans tents for homeless amid hepatitis A outbreak

San Diego plans tents for homeless amid hepatitis A outbreak

San Diego plans tents for homeless amid hepatitis A outbreak

"Offering more clean and safe spaces that transition the homeless from living on the streets to living in a permanent home is exactly what San Diego needs right now".

"No common sources of food, beverage or drugs have been identified that have contributed to this outbreak, though investigation is ongoing", according to the department. The dire situation is being attributed to a lack of access to restrooms or showers for San Diego's homeless population. 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.

Hepatitis A, which a highly contagious liver infection caused by a virus, is spread person-to-person typically through poor sanitation practices, such as not washing hands after using the restroom.

"San Diego's homeless crisis will not be solved by erecting a few tents - it can only be solved by full and effective enforcement of laws to force homeless individuals into treatment programs", DeMaio said.

"We're probably going to be doing them every other Monday, see how that works out at least for the time being", Jose Ysea, a city spokesman, was reported as saying.
Now, the city is implementing an extension on public restrooms hours, opening the possibilities for these homeless people to find the toilets available 24/7.

The measures detailed plans to use bleach-spiked water for high-pressure washing to remove "all feces, blood, bodily fluids or contaminated surfaces". However, the region's public health officer, Dr. Wilma Wooten, was reported as stating that other cities will start implanting sanitation programs as well. Of those, 3,231 were living on the streets.

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 2016, the annual count in San Diego estimated that at least 8,669 people were homeless, but the Zillow study said that the number was actually 11,149, a difference of 28.6 percent. Dozens of hand-washing stations have been installed, with more on the way.

"Frankly we can't take any more time worrying what group will be offended, lives are on the line, we need to take action", the mayor said. These recommend people, especially those at a higher risk, to get vaccinated. There are plans, according to the city's letter, to add more stations next week.

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