RICH THOMASELLI SEPTEMBER 12, 2021
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has produced https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html#travel-1a global map showing the travel ‘hot spots’ across the world where the chance of contracting the COVID-19 virus is the highest.
The United States is among the 78 countries with the highest level, making it one of the riskiest places for tourists to travel to.
The map shows the risk of contracting the virus in each country and ranks locales with available data in four categories — low, moderate, high and very high risk. The CDC arrives at each determination primarily by calculating the incident rate of infection and new case trajectory over the last 28 days.
The U.S., and a broad list of other nations, has a Level 4 “very high” designation due to the surge in the Delta variant.
The U.S. does have slightly more than 50 percent of its citizens who are vaccinated.
“If you look at the countries that are level four, there’s a wide variety of kinds of countries,” said Dr. Isaac Weisfuse, a medical epidemiologist from Cornell University Public Health and the former deputy commissioner of New York City’s Health Department. “You have countries in Western Europe, you have South America, you have some in Africa. It’s not just high-income countries, it’s not just low and middle-income countries, it’s really a complicated equation to sort this out.”
For instance, the CDC considered Mexico to be less of a risk to travel to than the United States even though less people in Mexico are vaccinated.
“[This map is] telling us that there’s many factors that go into the spread of the virus including behavior, variants, population density, [climate, testing] and there are probably issues we just don’t know about,” Weisfuse said.