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San Francisco and New York state declare health emergencies over monkeypox outbreak

The city of San Francisco and the state of New York on Thursday declared health emergencies over the monkeypox outbreak.

Why it matters: The disease was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization last week.

Details: The city of San Francisco declared a “local public health emergency” with the aim of creating more “flexibility” to increase testing and vaccine distribution, and “allow us to use all the resources in our power to contain the outbreak,” California state Sen. Scott Wiener said in a statement. Wiener had called for the declaration.

  • In New York state, health commissioner Mary Bassett declared the disease an “imminent threat to public health,” News 12 reports. The declaration is retroactive, starting on June 1.

What they’re saying: In a post outlining the declaration, San Fransisco Mayor London Breed said the local emergency would “strengthen the City’s preparedness” by allowing it to “mobilize City recourses,” “streamline staffing,” and “coordinate agencies across the city.”

  • “During COVID, we used our Local Emergency to pop up emergency vaccine sites. To deploy workers to immediate needs. To be able to move government bureaucracy nimbly to confront the virus,” Breed added. “That’s the kind of actions this Local Emergency will allow us to do.”
  • New York’s Bassett said the imminent threat declaration allows local health departments to “access additional state reimbursement, after other federal and state funding sources are maximized, to protect all New Yorkers and ultimately limit the spread of monkeypox in our communities,” per Spectrum Local News.

By the numbers: New York City had recorded 1,251 cases of monkeypox as of Thursday.

  • More than 260 cases of monkeypox had been confirmed in San Fransisco as of Wednesday, and 799 cases in total have been reported across California.
  • U.S. health officials said Wednesday that 800,000 vaccine doses for monkeypox would soon be made available for distribution.

Zoom in: The San Francisco Department of Public Health said it expects to receive 4,220 doses this week. And, SF General Hospital will open its walk-in, vaccine clinic starting on Monday, August 1 at 8 am.

  • New York state will receive 110,000 additional monkeypox vaccine doses, with about 80,000 headed to New York City, officials announced on Wednesday.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new details throughout.

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