CALIFORNIA, USA — California has declared a State of Emergency due to the monkeypox outbreak in the state.
The declaration was made by Gov. Gavin Newsom Monday, making California the second state in three days to take the step.
“California is working urgently across all levels of government to slow the spread of monkeypox, leveraging our robust testing, contact tracing and community partnerships strengthened during the pandemic to ensure that those most at risk are our focus for vaccines, treatment and outreach,” said Gov. Newsom. “We’ll continue to work with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about reducing risk, and stand with the LGBTQ community fighting stigmatization.”
The proclamation is meant to bolster the state's response to monkeypox and help slow the spread of the disease. This includes efforts to seek additional vaccines and lead education efforts on vaccines and treatment. It also enables Emergency Medical Services personnel to administer monkeypox vaccines that are approved by the FDA.
The move came after a similar declaration in New York state on Saturday, and in San Francisco on Thursday. But Newsom's administration had said as recently as Friday that it was too soon for such a declaration.
According to the proclamation, California has been urging the federal government to make more vaccine doses available to the state so they could expand eligibility to confirmed and probable exposures and to those at risk of the virus.
Officials said the state has distributed more than 25,000 vaccine doses and will make more available in the coming days and weeks. In all, the state has received more than 61,000 doses of the vaccine.
After pressing for Newsom to make such a declaration, Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco hailed the governor's decision.
“The monkeypox outbreak is an emergency, and we need to use every tool we have to control it. I’m deeply grateful to Governor Newsom for recognizing the peril we face, and thus declaring a state of emergency," said Senator Wiener. "This declaration will help expand vaccination, testing, and other critical strategies around the outbreak. I look forward to working with the Governor and his Administration to combat this dangerous health situation.”
Tracking monkeypox in California
Here's a look at how many cases of probable and confirmed cases have been reported in each county across California: