Governor Gavin Newsom said the declaration will help California coordinate a government-wide response, seek more vaccines and lead outreach and education efforts on where people can get treatment and vaccination.
“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 stigmatisation,” Mr. Newsom said in a statement announcing his declaration.
“Public health officials are clear: stigma is unacceptable and counterproductive in public health response,” Michelle Gibbons, executive director of the County Health Executives Association of California said in a statement. “The fact is that monkeypox is primarily spread by skin to skin contact and sharing objects like bedding or towels, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The type of monkeypox virus identified in this outbreak is rarely fatal, and people usually recover within weeks. But the lesions and blisters caused by the virus are painful, and they can prevent swallowing or bowel movements if in the throat or anus.
The declaration in California came after a similar one in New York state on Saturday, and in San Francisco on Thursday. Mr. Newsom’s administration had said as recently as Friday that it was too soon for such a declaration.
Mr. Newsom’s proclamation allows emergency medical personnel to administer monkeypox vaccines that are approved by the federal government.
California has received more than 61,000 vaccine doses and has distributed more than 25,000 doses.