NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state disaster emergency on Friday due to the spread of polio.
In July, a resident in Rockland County tested positive for polio in what is considered the first case of the disease in the United States in almost a decade, according to health officials. A month after, the virus that causes polio was detected in New York City’s wastewater.
The state disaster emergency will run through Oct. 9, according to Hochul. As part of the declaration, Hochul authorized all necessary state agencies to assist local governments, and she freed up more state resources to allocate towards the containment of the polio situation.
The same day the emergency was declared, Hochul shared a Twitter post relaying New York’s efforts to “ramp up” vaccination efforts by allowing “EMTs, midwives, and pharmacists” to administer the shots.
“We’re making it easier for New Yorkers to get their polio vaccine if they haven’t already received it,” Hochul wrote.
The New York Department of Health has also warned that polio spreads more easily in counties with lower vaccination rates.
“That is why it is so important all New Yorkers 2 months and older to get vaccinated against polio as soon as possible.” the health department writes.