Portable toilets and hand washing stations on C Street near City Hall. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Several new restrooms were installed Monday in a downtown area park in the latest effort by city officials to help combat the hepatitis A outbreak.

The four portable restrooms placed at Tailgate Park at 14th and L streets will be disinfected at least twice a day and will be monitored with full-time security, city officials said.

“We hope these restrooms are well used to help prevent the spread of hepatitis A,” said Jonathan Herrera, the city’s senior policy adviser on homelessness coordination. “We will continue to monitor the restrooms and ensure they remain operational.”

The effort to add public restrooms throughout the downtown area is in response to what has been described as the largest outbreak of the virus in decades. Infections have killed 16 people and as many as 444 have been sickened in San Diego County.

As a result of the quick spread of hepatitis A, the city has added washing stations and more restroom facilities. A total of 22 restrooms are now in the downtown area where homeless people — the hardest hit population — tend to gather.

The city has taken other steps to fight the liver disease, including free vaccinations throughout the city. So far, more than 22,000 San Diego have received shots. Other efforts to curb the spread of the epidemic have included bleaching and power-washing streets and sidewalks.

–City News Service

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