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California and Illinois declare states of emergency to help fight monkeypox outbreaks

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared a state of emergency in Illinois on Monday to help respond to the monkeypox outbreak.
Scott Olson
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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared a state of emergency in Illinois on Monday to help respond to the monkeypox outbreak.

Updated August 2, 2022 at 9:33 AM ET

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared states of emergency in their states Monday due to monkeypox outbreaks.

"[Monkeypox] is a rare, but potentially serious disease that requires the full mobilization of all available public health resources to prevent the spread," Pritzker said in a statement. "That's why I am declaring a state of emergency to ensure smooth coordination between state agencies and all levels of government, thereby increasing our ability to prevent and treat the disease quickly."

Declaring a state of emergency often helps with the logistics and coordination between departments working to respond to the emergency. In this case, it means devoting more resources to testing opportunities and vaccinations, including who can administer them, and accessing funds designated for emergencies.

The alert in California was issued to help the state health department amp up its vaccination, education and outreach efforts in response to the virus, Newsom said in a statement.

"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.

He continued, "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."

With these declarations, California and Illinois join New York in trying to address these outbreaks at the state level.

A total of 5,811 cases of monkeypox have been recorded nationwide, with 1,390 of those cases in New York, another 827 in California and 520 in Illinois.

So far, California has administered 25,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine, and received about 61,000 doses, Newsom said.

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