Ballard Commons Park is receiving more rigorous cleaning and public health outreach after a Hepatitis A outbreak in the area.
In March, Seattle & King County Public Health identified 30 confirmed Hepatitis A cases in the county, with 14 of those individuals reporting as living homeless in the Ballard area. In a newsletter to constituents, District 6 Councilmember Dan Strauss outlined the efforts of his office and other City departments to address the outbreak.
“In my first two months in office I began the work to address this situation behind the scenes, and then COVID-19 hit. I continue monitoring Ballard Commons in-person and I opened my district office at the Customer Service Center (next to the library) to increase my presence in the area,” Strauss said in his newsletter.
As we reported in early April, Public Health has been operating weekly Ballard clinics for vaccinating against Hepatitis A, along with outreach three times per week. In addition, Seattle Parks has been sanitizing the Portland Loo three times daily, and picking up litter three times per week in Ballard Commons Park. Seattle Public Utilities has increased cleaning the park four times per week, and are servicing the garbage can in front of Ballard Library five times per week.
The City is also providing a handwashing station and portable toilets at Ballard Commons Park, in addition to the Portland Loo. And, the City’s Human Services Department and Navigation Team are conducting outreach with hygiene kits three times per week.
Seattle Police Department’s Community Police Teams, Anti-Crime Teams, and Bike Patrols are supplementing patrols of the park.
Councilmember Strauss said that when he was elected, one of the first issues he planned to tackle is the Ballard Commons Park situation.
“Until we stand up appropriate shelter options, we need to manage what is currently an unmanaged encampment,” Strauss said in his newsletter.