CDC moves 3 tropical island getaways to ‘moderate’ risk category for Covid-19

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(CNN) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday moved three tropical island getaways and a Middle Eastern country into its “moderate” risk category for Covid-19. There were no new additions to its “high” risk category this week.

The four new locations now at “moderate” risk, or level 2, are:

• Fiji (in the South Pacific)
• Kuwait (Middle East)
• Saint Kitts and Nevis (Caribbean)
• Saint-Martin (Caribbean)

Previously, Dutch Sint Maarten was listed as “Unknown,” which occurs when the CDC does not have enough data to perform a risk assessment. The other three places have moved from the “high” risk level, or level 3.

Just over half of the destinations monitored by the CDC are still listed at Level 3. This includes very popular tourist spots such as Brazil, France, Mexico and Thailand.

The designation applies to places that have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days.

Destinations with the designation “Level 2: Moderate Covid-19” have reported 50 to 100 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 population in the past 28 days.

To be listed as “Tier 1: Covid-19 Low”, a destination must have recorded 49 or fewer new cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days.

This week, four nations in Africa have been placed in Tier 1:

• Green cap
• Mauritania
• Morocco
• Namibia

Level 4, previously the highest risk category, is now reserved only for special circumstances, such as an extremely high number of cases, the emergence of a new variant of concern or the collapse of healthcare infrastructure. health. The CDC advises against travel to these destinations. Under the new system, no destinations have been placed at Tier 4 so far.

Medical expert weighs in on risk levels

The CDC advises travelers to get up to date with Covid-19 vaccines before traveling abroad. Being “up to date” means that you have received not only the initial full vaccinations, but also all the boosters for which you are eligible.

We are in “a phase of the pandemic where people have to make their own decisions based on their medical situation as well as their risk tolerance when it comes to contracting Covid-19”, according to analyst Dr Leana Wen. CNN Medical.

Vaccination is the most important safety factor for travel, said Wen, who is an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health.

“Most people who are up to date on their vaccines are highly protected against serious illnesses,” she said.

Consider what you would do if you ended up testing positive away from home, Wen advised.

“Do you have access to treatments such as antiviral pills or monoclonal antibodies? Ask your doctor before your trip if you are eligible, then know where to find these treatments when traveling abroad,” she said. declared.

Wen also advises packing extra coronavirus tests and taking them with you on your trip.

While travelers to the United States no longer have to present a negative Covid-19 test to return home from international destinations, the CDC still advises getting tested before boarding flights back to the States. States and not to travel if you are sick.
“Of course, if people have symptoms or are exposed while traveling, they should get tested and, if positive, follow CDC’s isolation guidelines,” Wen told CNN Travel.
If you are concerned about a travel-specific health situation not related to Covid-19, check here.

Top image: Chairs are laid out for sunbathing in the capital city of Philipsburg in Sint Maarten. (Photo by: Marica van der Meer/Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

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