The U.S. announced it was lifting the Global Level 4 Health Advisory, which had been in place since March 19 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Americans have very few destination choices, as fewer than 10% of the world’s countries allow U.S. residents entry without strict restrictions due to the high rate of COVID-19 spread in this country.

The State Department lifted the Level 4 Global Travel Advisory in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and is now recommending that citizens “exercise caution when traveling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic.”Recommended For You

Here’s the problem: The CDC health travel advisory map currently looks like this (below). Virtually the entire world is designated as Level 3, signifying that COVID-19 risk is similarly high everywhere.

This map on the CDC website appears to show similar rates of infection around the world. CENTERS OF DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

But who are we kidding? The incidence of COVID-19 varies widely around the world. On the CDC map, it appears that the United States and Canada have similarly high incidence of COVID-19 spread. In reality, the spread of COVID-19 in United States is ten times higher than it is in Canada. Who can blame Canada for keeping the U.S.-Canada border closed?

For a more accurate overview of COVID-19 hot spots, turn to Harvard Global Health Institute’s risk-assessment map (top). As of now, the United States ranks eighth in the world for COVID-19 spread, sandwiched between Colombia and South Africa.

COVID-19 world cases
The U.S. is among the top 10 countries with the highest incidence of COVID-19. HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE

Harvard’s map provides an easy-to-understand COVID-19 risk color-coded rating of green, yellow, orange or red. (You can also drill down to the U.S. state or county level to see how your home community is faring.) The risk-assessment levels are based upon the number of new daily cases per 100,000 people, based on a rolling weekly average.

With an average of 17.3 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, the United States is colored orange. That indicates there is an “accelerated spread.”

In comparison, Canada currently has only 1.2 new daily cases, on average, per 100,000 people. On Harvard’s map, Canada is colored yellow, indicating a controllable level of community spread.

Last month, the European Union created a safe list of 15 countries with low rates of infection whose citizens are allowed to enter Europe freely. Canada was on that list, along with Algeria, Australia, China, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.



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