Breanna Reeves |

Following its  declaration of a public health emergency, the Riverside County Public Health Department has published a Monkeypox Data Dashboard which gives the community live updates on monkeypox cases in the region.

The dashboard was developed to keep residents informed about the current monkeypox spread and where it is spreading in the region, Senior Public Information Specialist Jose Arballo Jr. shared via email. The dashboard will be updated daily as monkeypox cases are detected.

“This was critical during the COVID response and we believe it is critical to be as transparent as possible,” Arballo wrote.

Monkeypox cases in the county have increased over the last few weeks, with the county reporting a total of 124 cases as of August 19. This week the county also reported the first monkeypox cases detected in a female in the county. In addition to tracking the number of cases in the county, the dashboard contains information regarding the location of monkeypox cases, race/ethncity and sexual orientation.

The Monkeypox Dashboard displays the current number of cases across cities in Riverside County, with the exception of cities that have a population count of less than 20,000 and/or case numbers that are less than five have been hidden on the dashboard (Image via Riverside Public Health Department).

The majority of monkeypox cases have been detected in Palm Springs, which has 66 cases, followed by Cathedral City, which has 21 cases. As the county works to expand vaccine availability, there are growing concerns about the possible cancellation of upcoming events in the county, namely Palm Springs Pride which is set to take place beginning on November 4. 

With a limited supply of vaccines, the county has given priority to specific groups in the community who may be more at risk such as laboratory workers who directly process specimens for monkeypox testing, people who have been identified as having monkeypox and people who engage in transactional sex.

For people who have begun to display symptoms of monkeypox or who are under isolation, the public health department recommends that they do not attend the vaccine clinics because the vaccine “is considered to no longer be effective.” The county is also “temporarily postponing” second doses of the vaccine to “maximize impact of the limited vaccine supply.”

Individuals who are interested in getting the vaccine can register their interest with the county by completing and submitting the Monkeypox Vaccine Interest Form.

Currently, there are six health clinics that provide vaccines across the county:

So far, California has received 109,471 vials of the monkeypox vaccine, according to the California Department of Public Health. More than 65,000 vials have been distributed to local public health departments and 43,282 have been delivered to Los Angeles County from the federal government.

Riverside County initially received roughly 3,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine and issued 75% of those vaccines to partner health clinics. The public health department utilized the remaining 25%, according to Dr. Jennifer Chevinsky, Deputy Public Health Officer at Riverside University Health System – Public Health.

According to Arballo, the county anticipates receiving an additional allocation of doses next week which “will help serve the need but not be enough to meet the demand,” Arballo said via email.

Across California, monkeypox cases are steadily rising as the California Department of Public Health reported 2,660 cases across the state.The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health has reported 28 monkeypox cases as of August 19. In Los Angeles County, the case count is now at 936, surpassing San Francisco’s count of 614 as of August 18.

Breanna Reeves

Breanna Reeves is a reporter in Riverside, California, and uses data-driven reporting to cover issues that affect the lives of Black Californians. Breanna joins Black Voice News as a Report for America Corps member. Previously, Breanna reported on activism and social inequality in San Francisco and Los Angeles, her hometown. Breanna graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor’s degree in Print & Online Journalism. She received her master’s degree in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics. Contact Breanna with tips, comments or concerns at breanna@voicemediaventures.com or via twitter @_breereeves.