City Expands Sidewalk Sanitation Efforts to Ocean Beach, Midway and PB

by on September 27, 2017 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

Bleach Cleaning to Combat Hepatitis A Will Extend to Beach Communities Beginning Wed, Sept. 27th

The City of San Diego issued a statement today, September 27th, announcing that the program to sanitize the sidewalks in the most critical areas of downtown is expanding today to Ocean Beach, the Midway area and Pacific Beach. The City believes these neighborhoods also have the need to combat the hepatitis A outbreak.

Cleaning crews began today in parts of the Midway area, Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach, the City announced. Crews will work in Uptown and Mid-City on Friday. The announcement stated:

Sidewalk sanitizing is one of the key actions the City is taking to assist the County of San Diego’s efforts to eradicate the virus.

Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer issued his statement:

“We are expanding cleaning efforts beyond downtown to other areas where we know homeless individuals are living in unsanitary conditions. This is going to help stop the spread of the virus and keep our neighborhoods safe, and our aggressive sanitation schedule will continue for as long as needed to address this public health emergency.”

Faulconer has been roundly criticized by different quarters of the city for not jumping on the crisis earlier, despite multiple warnings delivered by grand juries, homeless advocates, community leaders – and the homeless themselves.

The horrid lack of public restrooms in downtown and in communities where homeless people congregate has been an issue for years.

Here is the remainder of the City statement:

On Sept. 11, the City began power washing sidewalks with a bleach solution in different areas downtown three times weekly, following the guidelines set by the County Public Health Officer to effectively kill the hepatitis A virus. The City continues to monitor conditions downtown and throughout other communities, and will modify its sanitation schedule as needed going forward. At this time, officials estimate downtown sidewalk locations will be sanitized every other week, allowing for the crew to operate in other communities on alternate weeks.

To report public areas in need of power washing, residents can contact their City Council representative, call the City’s dispatch center at 619-527-7500 or make an online request at City staff will dispatch work crews to assess the issue and determine if cleaning is necessary. It is important to share as much detail as possible when you make a report. Provide an address, a specific location at the address (sidewalk, gutter or street, for example) and, when reporting online, photos are helpful. Please note that the City will not be power washing privately-owned properties.

Medical experts have advised that the three steps to stop the outbreak of hepatitis A are vaccination, sanitation and education, with a particular emphasis on vaccination. In response to the hepatitis A outbreak, several actions have been taken by the City to assist County health officials in preventing the further spread of hepatitis A:

  • Offering free vaccinations. Coordinating with American Medical Response and the Downtown San Diego Partnership to connect 1,278 individuals with free vaccinations at Golden Hall, and hosting County vaccination clinics at several City libraries. To date, more than 42,000 people have been vaccinated throughout the County.
  • Connecting with individuals at risk. Since June, the San Diego Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team has connected the County’s nurses to some of the hardest to reach at-risk individuals living in encampments and other areas, serving as a critical conduit of education and vaccination to those who need it most.
    §  Adding more public restrooms. The City has opened three new secure 24-hour restroom facilities, each with four separate stalls.
  • Installing 63 handwashing stations. Working with the County, the City has sited handwashing stations to ensure all individuals have the opportunity to wash their hands.
  • Educating the community. The City is providing consistent information and education to community members about hepatitis A and ways to prevent the outbreak’s spread.

Contact: Katie Keach, 619-847-8274 or

Here is more info provided by the City:

New coordination center directing City resources to deliver vaccines to at-risk individuals, sanitize public right-of-ways, and educate the public on proper hygiene.  The following is a statement from the Mayor’s office posted on Nextdoor:

Following City vaccination efforts this summer and the Aug. 31 directive from San Diego County public health officials, City Hall continues to take aggressive action in recent weeks to combat the hepatitis A outbreak by providing vaccines for at-risk people, implementing a chlorine bleach solution to power wash sidewalks and other public areas in downtown, and educate the public about proper hygiene.

At Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s direction, the City on Monday established a Coordination Center inside City Hall to direct all of the City’s efforts. A 12-person team led by John Valencia, the City’s Office of Homeland Security Executive Director, coordinates resources as needed, tracks progress on the ground, and coordinates closely with San Diego County public health officials.

“We are a resilient city and have proven time and again that we are ready to handle anything that comes our way,” Mayor Faulconer said. “We’ve made continued progress in getting more folks vaccinated and improving the sanitary conditions on our downtown streets and sidewalks. We’re going to get through this together, but we need everybody to do their part by getting the word out to at-risk individuals who need to get vaccinated and by making sure all San Diegans regularly wash their hands with soap and warm water.”

For months, City officials have been working with the County to hold free vaccination clinics at public libraries (including three in July and early August), have San Diego police officers accompany County nurses when they go to homeless encampments to offer vaccines, and place educational posters about hepatitis A in libraries, recreation centers and other public buildings.

The City has also ramped up efforts in recent weeks in the following areas.


Since public health officials say the most effective way to combat the virus is for at-risk people to get vaccinated, the City has significantly increased the number of vaccination clinics offered at libraries (see below for list of upcoming clinics). In addition, the City – in partnership with ambulance provider American Medical Response and the Downtown San Diego Partnership – held a two-day event Thursday and Friday at Golden Hall where 1,278 people were vaccinated..

In all, more than 28,000 people have received immunizations through the City and County’s efforts.

At-risk populations include homeless individuals, intravenous drug users, food handlers, janitorial workers and occupations/professions that have regular interactions with at-risk people, such as police officers, firefighters, paramedics, homeless service providers and health care professionals.


On Sept. 11, the City began an unprecedented effort to sanitize sidewalks, streets and gutters throughout the downtown area with cleanings occurring every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A vendor is using a chlorine bleach solution that public health officials say is best way to eradicate the virus from public areas. The sanitation efforts will continue next week and will soon expand to other areas.

The City also has significantly expanded access to public restrooms. Fourteen bathrooms in Balboa Park are now open around the clock representing half of all the park’s restrooms. In addition, the City has added two new 24-hour restroom facilities (with four separate stalls each) at the corner of C St. and 1st Avenue and at 1330 G St., bringing the total number of public bathroom sites to 21 in the downtown area. A 22nd site will be added next week in the East Village.

In coordination with the City, the County has had 41 handwashing stations up and running since Sept. 2 throughout downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.


There are a number of opportunities available for people to get free hepatitis A vaccinations and sanitary kits. If someone is interested in a vaccine, they should call 211 or go to

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection that is usually transmitted by the fecal-oral contact, either through person-to-person contact or consumption of contaminated food or water. Contamination can occur when infected persons do not wash their hands properly after going to the bathroom and then touch other objects or food items. Surfaces that are frequently touched should be cleaned and sanitized often.

To avoid infection, public health officials recommend people wash their hands regularly after using the bathroom and before preparing or eating food. Hands and arms should be washed with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds and then thoroughly rinsed with clean running water and properly dried. (http://www.sandiegocounty. gov/content/dam/sdc/deh/fhd/ food/pdf/publications_ hepatitisA.pdf)

The County HHSA offers vaccines at dozens of Community Health Centers and Public Health Centers throughout the region. Here is a complete list of locations. ( resources/health-wellness/)

(Hat tip to South OB Girl)

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