Governor Hochul declares a state of emergency in response to the ongoing monkeypox outbreak

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Governor Kathy Hochul today issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in response to the ongoing monkeypox outbreak. The executive order allows the state to respond more quickly to the outbreak and allows health professionals to take additional steps that will help get more New Yorkers vaccinated.

“Having reviewed the latest data on the monkeypox outbreak in New York State, I am declaring a state of emergency of emergency to increase our aggressive ongoing efforts to control this outbreak,” Gov. Hochul said. “More than one in four cases of monkeypox in this country occurs in upstate New York, and we must use every tool in our arsenal to respond. It is particularly important to recognize the ways in which this outbreak is currently disproportionately impacting certain risk groups. That’s why my team and I are working around the clock to secure more vaccines, expand testing capacities, and responsibly educate the public on how to protect themselves during this outbreak.”

In particular, the executive order expands the pool of authorized persons who can administer monkeypox vaccines, including emergency medical workers, pharmacists and midwives; allows physicians and chartered nurses to issue non-patient specific standing orders for vaccines; and requires providers to submit vaccine data to the New York State Department of Health.

Today’s announcement builds on New York State’s ongoing efforts on monkeypox, including efforts to secure more vaccines, expand testing capacities, and distribute the latest information and resources to New Yorkers. Yesterday Gov. Hochul announced that the federal government has secured an additional 110,000 doses of vaccine, bringing the total to 170,000 doses for New Yorkers to date. Governor Hochul and the Department of Health and Human Services continue their ongoing coordination with the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Administration for Strategic Preparedness & Response (ASPR) to ensure New York continues to receive its fair share of vaccine supplies, as they become available, especially for New Yorkers in high-speed communities.

Recently, dr. Mary T. Bassett, New York State Health Commissioner explained Monkeypox an Imminent Public Health Threat (ITPH) in New York State. Earlier this month, NYSDOH launched a new SMS alert to deliver the latest monkeypox information directly to the New Yorker. New Yorkers can sign up for text messages — which include alerts on cases, symptoms, spread, and resources for testing and vaccination — by texting “MONKEYPOX” to 81336, or “MONKEYPOXESP” for texts in Spanish. By providing a zip code, New Yorkers can also opt-in to location-based news.

NYSDOH’s own website, which keeps up to date with the latest information, offers free downloadable materials including a palm card, information card, handout and posters available in both English and Spanish. NYSDOH has already distributed these resources to LGBTQ+ organizations, local health departments, healthcare providers and businesses. NYSDOH has also participated in a paid digital advertising campaign to share information with communities that have higher rates of monkeypox cases.

In addition to outreach, the New York State Department of Health and Human Services remains focused on distributing vaccines to communities. Local county health departments that have received supplies are administering the vaccine directly and setting up their own appointment procedures. In partnership with counties, New Yorkers who sign up for location-based alerts can receive alerts on vaccine availability, clinic locations, appointments, and other monkeypox-related updates specific to their area.

Earlier this month, NYSDOH hosted a in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH). Monkeypox City Hall for community leaders led by State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett and City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan.

New Yorkers can learn more about New York State first federal vaccine allocation here and the second assignment here.

For more information on monkeypox, including case numbers by county, treatment, and care, visit: health.ny.gov/monkeypox.

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