Hochul declares monkeypox an emergency, seeks more vaccination resources
Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office
Governor Kathy Hochul on Friday issued an Executive Order declaring a State Disaster Emergency in response to the ongoing monkeypox outbreak.
The Executive Order enables the state to respond more swiftly to the outbreak and allows health care professionals to take additional steps that will help get more New Yorkers vaccinated.
“After reviewing the latest data on the monkeypox outbreak in New York State, I am declaring a State Disaster Emergency to strengthen our aggressive ongoing efforts to confront this outbreak,” Governor Hochul said. “More than one in four monkeypox cases in this country are in New York State, and we need to utilize every tool in our arsenal as we respond.”
The Executive Order specifically extends the pool of eligible individuals who can administer monkeypox vaccines, including EMS personnel, pharmacists and midwives; allows physicians and certified nurse practitioners to issue non patient specific standing orders for vaccines; and requires providers to send vaccine data to the New York State Department of Health.
The announcement builds on New York State’s ongoing response efforts on monkeypox, including efforts to secure more vaccines, expand testing capacity, and distribute the latest information and resources to New Yorkers.
Hochul on Thursday announced that the federal government had secured an additional 110,000 vaccine doses, resulting in a total of 170,000 doses to New Yorkers to date. Governor Hochul and the Department of Health are continuing their ongoing coordination with White House, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Administration for Strategic Preparedness & Response (ASPR) to ensure that New York continues to receive its fair share of vaccine supply as soon they are available, especially for those New Yorkers in communities with high transmission rates.
Recently, New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Mary T. Bassett declared monkeypox an Imminent Threat to Public Health (ITPH) in New York State. Earlier this month, NYSDOH launched a new SMS-text notification effort to deliver the latest monkeypox information directly to New Yorkers. New Yorkers can sign up for text messages—which will include alerts about 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 for location-based messages.
In addition to public outreach, the New York State Department of Health continues to focus on distributing vaccines to communities. Local county health departments that have received supply are administering the vaccine directly and establishing their own appointment processes. Working in partnership with counties, New Yorkers who sign-up for location-based alerts may receive alerts on vaccine availability, clinic locations, scheduling, and other monkeypox-related updates specific to their area.
For more information about monkeypox, including case counts by county, treatment, and care, visit: health.ny.gov/monkeypox.
Editor’s Note: There haven’t been any reported cases yet in Orleans or the GLOW counties, but there have been 4 in Monroe, 4 in Erie and 1 in Niagara, according to the state.