Here's what declaration of monkeypox as state of emergency means for California

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ByLuz Pena via KGO logo
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
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California state and local officials explain how the declaration of state of emergency for monkeypox will speed up efforts to tackle the outbreak.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's a public health crisis that now has reached statewide intervention. Right behind New York, and Illinois, California became the third state in the country to sound the alarm for monkeypox.

"We are declaring loudly that we have an emergency here," said State Assemblymember, Matt Haney.

RELATED: Newsom declares state of emergency in CA for monkeypox, plans to amp up response

What does a state of emergency actually change? We went to the state level to speak to Assemblymember Haney.

"By declaring a state of emergency we are telling the federal government we need help. We need support, but we are also putting the infrastructure the personnel. The treatment resources and education resources in place so that we are prepared to respond," said Haney.

In other words, counties throughout the state will be able to speed up efforts to tackle the outbreak.

Another key aspect of this declaration is that it opens the door for counties and cities to get a refund for their efforts.

RELATED: President Joe Biden will tap top FEMA, CDC officials to lead national monkeypox response

"Part of my hope is that there is a reimbursement for the expenses related to monkeypox specifically," said San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

Just yesterday, San Francisco's public health state of emergency went into effect. Hundreds waited in line at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, many leaving without a vaccine.

The state of emergency will allow more medical professionals to administer the vaccine, but it doesn't mean California will get any more vaccines.

"I'm very concerned. I think the cases are going to increase significantly before they start decreasing," said Dr. Grant Colfax, director of Public Health San Francisco.

RELATED: SoCal child tests positive for monkeypox, believed to be 2nd in California

According to CDC data, California is right behind New York with the highest number of infections.

California has 827 Monkeypox cases. Even before Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency, the federal government was prioritizing places with the most cases. Today San Francisco got a call.

"Just today, I'm happy to share some news. San Francisco was told that we'll be getting over 10,000 doses this week of monkeypox vaccine. That is good news. That is more than double what we have gotten in previous weeks. It's obviously still not enough," said Dr. Colfax.

As part of California's state of emergency now pharmacists will also be able to vaccinate people for monkeypox, but again supply is limited and for now the state is only giving vaccines to local health jurisdictions.

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