California declares state of emergency over monkeypox outbreak, after New York and Illinois
California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) speaks with reporters after a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, at the United States Capitol, Friday, July 15, 2022.
tom williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Monday over the fast-spreading monkeypox outbreak, the third U.S. state to do so in days.
Newsom said the emergency declaration would help support the state’s vaccination efforts. Demand for vaccines has exceeded supply as infections rise. Staff at sexual health clinics and other sites struggled to keep up with the influx of people seeking vaccinations.
California is mobilizing personnel from its emergency medical services to help administer monkeypox vaccines. Newsom said the state is working at all levels of government to slow the spread through testing, contract research and community outreach.
California’s declaration comes after Illinois declared a public health emergency earlier Monday. New York declared a state disaster emergency in response to the outbreak Friday night.
The United States has reported nearly 6,000 cases of monkeypox in 48 states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The outbreak has spread rapidly since Boston health authorities confirmed the first US case in May.
California, Illinois and New York – home to the three largest cities in the country – have reported 47% of all confirmed monkeypox infections in the United States. New York is the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, with nearly 1,400 cases confirmed as of Monday.
The Biden administration is considering whether to declare a public health emergency in the United States, according to senior federal health officials. This would help mobilize resources for state health officials battling the outbreak. The last time the United States declared a public health emergency was in response to Covid-19 in January 2020.
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