PASADENA, Calif.—Interim City Manager Cynthia Kurtz has proclaimed a local emergency to strengthen the City’s preparedness and ability to respond to the virus. In an effort to stop the spread of monkeypox and make the monkeypox vaccine more readily accessible to those at highest risk, Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) is also expanding the eligibility criteria for the vaccine, effective immediately.
“We are continuing to work proactively to protect the health of our community, and this proclamation allows us to mobilize more resources," said Kurtz. "This local emergency will allow us to continue to support our community members who are currently most at-risk, while also to better prepare for what’s to come."
The proclamation allows the City to take all actions necessary to implement preventive measures to protect and preserve public health, including, but not limited to, mobilizing City resources, accelerating emergency planning; streamlining staffing; coordinating across other agencies; expediting the ability of the City to purchase necessary supplies to combat monkeypox; allowing for future reimbursement by the state and federal governments; and raising awareness throughout Pasadena about monkeypox, including how people can lower their risk and stop the spread.
Earlier this month, the governor proclaimed a state of emergency to support the state’s response to monkeypox. Additionally, Los Angeles and Orange Counties have issued similar proclamations to bolster their preparedness.
Currently, PPHD has 15 confirmed or probable cases of monkeypox in Pasadena. There are reportedly 2,356 cases in California as of Aug. 17, according to the California Department of Public Health.
PPHD continues to provide monkeypox vaccines by invitation only to the following select groups of persons identified through public health investigation:
- Gay or bisexual men and transgender persons who had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days, including engaging in survival and/or transactional sex (e.g., sex in exchange for shelter, food and other goods and needs).
- Persons confirmed to have had high- or intermediate-risk contact with someone with monkeypox, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Persons who attended an event/venue where there was high risk of exposure to an individual(s) with confirmed monkeypox virus through skin-to-skin or sexual contact. Public health officials will work with event/venue organizers to identify persons who may have been present and at risk of exposure while at the venue.
- Persons experiencing homelessness (PEH) with high-risk behaviors.
- People in high-risk cohorts identified by clinical staff in the LA County Jail system.
- Gay or bisexual men and transgender persons who:
- Were diagnosed with gonorrhea or early syphilis within the past 12 months; or
- Are on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); or
- Attended or worked at a commercial sex venue or other venue where they had anonymous sex or sex with multiple partners (e.g., saunas, bathhouses, sex clubs, sex parties) within past 21 days.
Vaccine eligibility and information on how to access vaccine will continue to be updated at www.cityofpasadena.net/monkeypox.
Monkeypox is a viral infection that can spread through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, or shared items (such as clothing and bedding) that have been contaminated with fluids from sores of a person with monkeypox. Although monkeypox is not generally considered a sexually transmitted infection, it can be transmitted during sex through prolonged skin-to-skin and other intimate contact, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. To prevent the spread of monkeypox, PPHD recommends:
- Avoiding close physical contact with people who have symptoms, including sores or rashes;
- Talking to your sexual partner(s) about any recent illness and being aware of new or unexplained sores or rashes;
- Avoiding contact with contaminated materials;
- Wearing personal protective equipment (i.e., mask, gloves, gown) if you cannot avoid close contact with someone who has symptoms;
- Practicing good hand hygiene;
- Speaking to your healthcare provider about getting tested if you have symptoms; and
- Staying in isolation until you are no longer considered infectious per public health guidance.
For questions regarding monkeypox, public health officials recommend that you speak to your primary care provider. If you do not have a regular provider, call LA County 2-1-1 for assistance. In addition, people without a regular provider that have developed a rash in the genital or perianal area, can access services at Los Angeles County’s sexual health clinics.
For more information on monkeypox, please visit www.cityofpasadena.net/monkeypox.
Stay connected to the City of Pasadena! Visit us online at www.cityofpasadena.net; follow us on Twitter at @PasadenaGov, and Instagram and Facebook at @CityOfPasadena; or call the Citizen Service Center Monday through Friday during business hours at (626) 744-7311.