San Francisco Declares State of Emergency as Monkeypox Cases Rise

San Francisco declared a state of emergency on July 28 in response to the rising cases of monkeypox across the city and a shortage of vaccines.

“San Francisco is declaring a Local Public Health Emergency for monkeypox. This declaration will go into effect starting August 1 and will allow us to prepare and dedicate resources to prevent the spread,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced.

“This virus impacts everyone, but our LGBTQ community is seeing significant cases and we need action, we need more vaccines,” Breed added.

With 261 monkeypox cases out of around 4,600 cases across the United States, San Francisco has more cases than most states and is one of the epicenters of the virus.

Breed said that the San Francisco Department of Public Health requested 35,000 vaccines from the federal government weeks ago, but they have “barely received a 1/3 of that request.”

“We are aware that there is a vaccine shortage across the country, but despite that, these vaccines need to be distributed quickly to places like San Francisco that have a disproportionate share of cases,” Breed said.

Breed clarified that the city government will not implement behavior restrictions or measures under the state of emergency, like what they did during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Instead, officials will deploy resources more quickly, such as pop-up emergency vaccine sites and emergency contracts.

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