San Diego County published a report on the hepatitis A outbreak that killed 20 people and left nearly 600 others sick in hopes of further epidemics.
The 200-page "After Action Report" contained 21 recommendations and a timeline for implementing these improvements
The report suggested better coordination by officials, as if county and regional leaders were regular during the outbreak to plan and implement a strategy
The district also wanted to train more public health and other district employees better and respond to public health emergencies.
Other recommendations include:
- Develop a notification process to better communicate information to local cities and government agencies so they can respond to emergencies.
- Disclose information to federal centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Department of Public Health and other agencies
- Working with doctors, nurses, clinics and other medical providers to vaccinate more at-risk patients and increase the likelihood of another virus outbreak to minimize.
The report praised several aspects of the district's response, including the use of "foot crews" that were formed by homeless people in county hospitals service providers and law enforcement agencies to vaccinate homeless sections of the population who live in canyons, parks and riverbeds.
"This strategy has proven to be highly effective in vaccinating the hardest-to-reach individuals, and since then, the country has spread information on how to perform foot-strike jurisdictions across the US," the report said.
The latest recommendation suggested the district: "More far-reaching solutions to tackling homelessness and illicit drug use."
Homeless Attorney Michael McConnell said the last recommendation should be the main strategy
McConnell was very critical of the County, because he found an unacceptably slow response to the hepatitis A crisis.
"The homeless have built communities on our streets where the hepatitis A crisis was pounding, so we have to see what has led to it and how we are going to do something to solve the homeless crisis," McConnell said.
McConnell said the county can not honestly criticize their own performance in the crisis, and he strongly reiterates MP Todd Gloria's demand for a state examination of the city and district's response to the hepatitis A outbreak.
"There is no overarching regional strategy, plan, goal or vision for reducing homelessness, although we use the system with hundreds of millions of dollars annually," said McConnell.
The Circle said its report was not meant to discuss "wider issues of homelessness or illicit drug use or poverty," but recognizes the importance of confronting these issues.
The report says the county has spent "significant resources" on the problem and is working with the regional homelessness task force, the San Diego Housing Commission and other agencies and service providers to improve services and systems for people living with homelessness, mental health problems, addiction and poverty.
According to the report, the hepatitis A outbreak cost $ 12.5 million on April 30