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Gov. Gavin Newsom declares state of emergency over monkeypox

Latino community being hit particularly hard by monkeypox cases
Latino community being hit particularly hard by monkeypox cases 03:02

SACRAMENTO – As cases continue to rise, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Monday over the growing monkeypox outbreak.

According to a statement from Newsom's office, the proclamation aims to bolster the state government's response to the outbreak along with expanding vaccine efforts.

"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," Newsom said.

As part of the proclamation, EMS personnel are being authorized to administer monkeypox vaccines, similar to the authority given to pharmacists to administer the shots.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON MONKEYPOX: California Department of Public Health | SF Department of Public Health | Santa Clara County Department of Public Health

The announcement comes as cases climb within California and across the country. As of Thursday, at least 786 cases were reported statewide.

While anyone can get infected with the monkeypox, the current outbreak has disproportionately affected gay and bisexual men.

"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," Newsom went on to say.

State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who has been critical of the government's response to the outbreak, supported the emergency declaration.

"I'm deeply grateful to Governor Newsom for recognizing the peril we face, and thus declaring a state of emergency. This declaration will help expand vaccination, testing, and other critical strategies around the outbreak," Wiener said. "I look forward to working with the Governor and his Administration to combat this dangerous health situation."

The state of emergency declared by Newsom follows a similar action taken by health officials in San Francisco last week. According to state data, at least 257 cases have been reported in San Francisco, the second highest total in California.

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