Patroling public restrooms

KAPA’A—Kealia Beach patron Doug Bowers hasn’t noticed any changes in his recent trips to the public restroom facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic response on Kaua‘i.

Bowers, who frequents the beach, uses public facilities regularly and praised the county for their work.

“I don’t know if it looks any different,” Bowers, a citizen of Kapa‘a, said. “I barely paid attention when I used it. I don’t know if it is being cleaned less. I am thinking it would because the beaches aren’t used like they used to be (before the COVID-19 pandemic.). Generally, I think they are doing a good job.”

Kaua’i County modified its sanitation standards for its public restrooms, hoping to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak, Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation Wallace G. Rezentes Jr. said.

The county focused on protocol with its employees tasked to take care of the public facilities.

Now, restrooms are more thoroughly cleaned and completely disinfected on a daily basis.

During the process, the entire restroom interior is wholly sprayed with a disinfectant solution and left to air dry.

The county is emphasizing immediate sanitizing areas, such as office space, vehicles, and equipment, and claims they added signs on the restrooms, which were defaced or ripped off the walls.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the restrooms were cleaned with disinfectant with the focus being on the toilets and sinks.

Some of the personal protective equipment county employees are now expected to wear include —nitrile gloves, face shields or goggles, masks, and steel toe rubber or waterproof boots.

Currently, the county has 91 public facilities on the island, including 27 on the west and 64 in the east.

Kaua’i expects cooperation from the public in hopes they will practice current social distancing protocols.

Implementing these new procedures aren’t easy, Rezentes Jr. said.

“Maintaining public restrooms at high-use locations during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge to keep clean consistently,” Rezentes Jr. said. “We want to ask that the public report to the police all vandalism or other illicit activity that they witness in public parks and restrooms.”

Public perception of the cleanliness of the bathrooms is mixed with residents.

Chucky Rapozo, a retired janitor for Kaua’i County for 24 years, volunteers his time to help clean up various park and recreation facilities on the island.

Rapozo claims to have a good line of communication with the county and claims every time he’s informed them of a problem with one of their sanitation stations, it’s taken care of quickly.

Rapozo hopes the county adds hand sanitizer in every station. They are currently stocked with essential hand soap and didn’t address anything about the addition of hand sanitizer in their recent letter to TGI.

According to Rapozo, not each restroom currently has the necessary hand sanitizer to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

“I am more concerned for the kids,” Rapozo said. “They should have hand sanitizer and soap dispensaries at every county bathroom. That is not going to cost more than $10-$20 thousand dollars.”

Ben Ferris, who worked with the county as an independent contractor to build some of the bathrooms in the1980s, expressed full confidence in the county’s ability to diligently oversee public safety.

“The county knows what they are doing, so I think they will step up their sanitation program and clean the bathrooms more frequently,” Ferris said.

“This area is well taken care of, and they always have someone picking up trash and cleaning the bathrooms. Their facilities are nice, open and use-able, and they can have access to parks and beaches.”


Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 652-2229.

  1. Jake June 5, 2020 1:48 am Reply

    So, for a recap, they are doing their jobs, now, properly, and the way they should have been done all along per their job description??????

    Let me guess……this is going to be perpetual overtime for the county tax payers….

  2. Kauaidoug June 5, 2020 10:16 am Reply

    I do know the restroom at the Waimea river is a total cesspool above ground and has been that way since I have had to use it during the course of traveling around the island. A lot of homeless children use that facility. It is terrible. ???

  3. Traveling June 5, 2020 4:05 pm Reply

    Do public restrooms and restaurant restrooms on Kauai, have hot water?

  4. Use A. Dictionary June 5, 2020 7:13 pm Reply


  5. Dizguzted June 5, 2020 7:28 pm Reply

    @Traveling, stay home. We know what you are up to. We don’t need or want you here violating the quarantine. Kauai has worked hard to keep our numbers down. Like our mayor has said, don’t be a Covidiot.

    1. Traveling June 6, 2020 7:18 pm Reply

      Sorry if the name misled you. I’ve been in my home since March and have no idea when I will be comfortable getting on an airplane to anywhere. I am, however, more comfortable with asking questions than relying on assumptions.

  6. David Pueolani June 6, 2020 4:30 am Reply

    This article is a total joke. Public restrooms on this island are normally trashed & lucky to have functioning toilets or sinks. Often homesteaded as drug super centers. The notion they get cleaned is a bald faced lie.

  7. Rick June 6, 2020 7:58 pm Reply

    Sheraton beach public restroom still closed. People taking craps around back.

  8. Leilani June 13, 2020 5:51 am Reply

    I thought it was sad to see such poor restrooms on Kauai when you are attracting nice tourists.
    Then, we went to California, and some of theirs are a thousand times worse – along the freeway. The state employees seem to think caring for public property is not important!
    It really should be a priority because everyone has to use the restroom. It is a human necessity.
    If money is a problem, I would be willing to help get the funds for this sore spot in Hawaii. I also thought the senior center was awful! The poor seniors are right in the tsunami zone and so is the library!

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