SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Gov. Gavin Newsom officially declared a state of emergency Monday due to the monkeypox outbreak.
California became the third state to declare the monkeypox outbreak as a state of emergency, following New York and Illinois.
In California, the state has the highest number of confirmed and probable cases in the nation at 827, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, the United States has 5,811 confirmed and probable cases.
What is a state of emergency?
A state of emergency is a government declaration that is proclaimed due to a crisis and it allows public officials to change usual operations and order actions in response to the situation, according to the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute.
Newsom’s declaration enables a government-wide response to seek more vaccines and lead outreach and education efforts on where people can get treatment and vaccination. The proclamation also orders personnel from the state’s Emergency Medical Services to administer monkeypox vaccines that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“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,” Newsom said in a news release. “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.”
According to the CDC, there are two vaccines approved by the FDA, JYNNEOS and ACAM2000. In July, California health officials urged the federal government for more monkeypox vaccinations
In a letter to the CDC, the California Department of Public Health urges it needs at least 600,000 to 800,000 additional JYNNEOS vaccine doses to expand eligibility. California Senators Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein also requested more monkeypox vaccines for the state.
Although there are efforts to minimize the spread, there is no mask or vaccination mandate in place in California.
Monkeypox in Sacramento County
As Newsom made his proclamation Monday, cases in Sacramento County surpassed over 50 confirmed and probable cases of monkeypox. The county has 52 confirmed and probable cases as of Tuesday, according to the Sacramento County Department of Health Services.
The county’s 52 cases is nine more than Friday and an increase of 13 from Tuesday, July 26.
Other surrounding counties that have at least one case of monkeypox are Solano (six), San Joaquin (four), Stanislaus (one) and Placer (one).
Sacramento County’s first monkeypox case was first reported on May 24, which was related to a person who traveled back to the United States from Europe.
The California Department of Public Health released its first demographic data breakdown on Friday for 786 cases reported in the state as of July 28. The state’s data shows that 98.3% of the cases are men who are gay or bisexual.
The age group of 35-44 has the highest infection rate in the state at 37.7% while the demographic of 24-34 has a case rate of 36.8%.
Who is eligible to get vaccinated
Sacramento County currently offers monkeypox vaccinations to men who have sex with men and transgender people who meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Tested positive for an STI in the past two months
- Had two or more sexual partners in the last three weeks
- Attended or worked at a commercial sex venue in the last three weeks
- Had anonymous sex in the past three weeks
- Engaged in sex work in the past three weeks
Those who meet the criteria can visit the Immunization Assistance Program website to schedule a vaccination appointment. The program can also be called at 916-875-7468.
According to the county’s website, monkeypox vaccines are available at Pucci’s Pharmacy on 3257 Folsom Boulevard, Sacramento, CA, 95816. Vaccinations are done by appointment only, which can be booked on its website.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.