A file photo of a hand-washing station positioned in front of Horton Plaza Mall in 2017. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

This post first appeared in the April 7 Morning Report. Subscribe to the daily newsletter here.

The city says it’s set up 10 new hand washing stations nearly two months after a county health official ordered the city to deploy more portable restrooms and hand washing stations amid a small spike in hepatitis A cases.

City spokeswoman Nicole Darling wrote in an email that the city is – at least for now – not adding additional restrooms and noted that there are existing restrooms in “key locations identified by the city.”

In a March 30 letter, city Chief Operating Officer Eric Dargan informed county Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten that the city planned to place additional handwashing stations in areas including downtown, City Heights and Mission Valley. Dargan wrote that the locations were selected based on past deployments and “encampment hot spot locations” reported by residents.

As of Wednesday, the county reported that it’s tracked 16 hepatitis A cases in 2023, including 10 in the homeless community.

In an email to Voice, Darling wrote that the city believes the new handwashing stations and inoculations at city shelters can effectively combat continued spread.

“Hand washing stations promote hygiene and sanitation and, combined with ongoing vaccination efforts in city shelters, can help prevent the transmission of hepatitis A,” Darling wrote.

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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  1. In Mexico, there is a restroom available every 500 feet. You pay 10 pesos for a wad of toilet paper. The restrooms are always clean and well maintained. Why can’t San Diego implement something similar?

    1. The people maintaining them in Mexico are paid $11.20 per DAY. In San Diego minimum wage is $16.20 per HOUR.

  2. Living downtown, I’ve come to understand San Diego as a city prefers the stench of human waste on most sidewalks, tents, blocking access, and screaming, often naked people, out of their minds. I guess they think it adds to the wonderful “atmosphere” an open air mental asylum can offer to tourists and locals alike.

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