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Press Release

Monkeypox: State of California Declares State of Emergency

(Santa Ana, CA) – In response to the monkeypox outbreak, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency on August 1 to bolster the state’s ability to coordinate education, prevention, and treatment across the state. The proclamation supports vaccination efforts to increase the state’s monkeypox defense strategy being led by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
A state of emergency will allow for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and local health jurisdictions to expand the implementation of monkeypox vaccines that have been sanctioned by the FDA. The infrastructure built during the COVID-19 pandemic assists in the monkeypox response with targeting local and community-based organizations that serve at-risk populations.

Through community partners and local providers, the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) is providing vaccinations to persons with an elevated risk of infection as quickly as allocations are received. Additionally, health care workers and laboratorians at particular risk are prioritized to receive vaccinations.

There are a number of ways to prevent the spread of monkeypox, including:

  • Always talking to your sexual partner/s about any recent illness and being aware of new or unexplained sores or rashes on your body or your partner’s body, including on the genitals and anus 
  • Avoiding close contact, including sex, with people with symptoms like sores or rashes 
  • Practicing good hand hygiene
  • People who become infected should isolate until their symptoms are improving or have gone away completely.  Rash should always be well covered until completely healed.
  • Using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (like a mask, gown, and gloves) when caring for others with symptoms 
  • Avoiding contact with infected materials contaminated with the virus 
  • Avoiding contact with infected animals

If you have a new or an unexplained rash or other symptoms, seek medical care for testing and evaluation.

  • Wear a mask and tell your healthcare provider of your current symptoms for possible monkeypox.  
  • Avoid crowds, close contact, including sexual or intimate contact until seeing a healthcare provider.

HCA’s Public Health Division recommends that you speak to your primary care provider as most providers can now do testing for monkeypox through commercial laboratories.

Updated Monkeypox FAQs can be found HERE.

Local clinicians who have any suspected cases are advised to immediately contact HCA’s Communicable Disease Control Division (CDCD) at (714) 834-8180. For additional information, see the attached Health Advisory from the California Department of Public Health.

For more information on monkeypox, including case counts, prevention strategies, vaccination and what the HCA is doing in Orange County, visit or

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