CDC warns Americans against travel to Canada
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now recommending Americans not to travel to Canada amid an Omicron-fueled wave of Covid hitting both countries.
The agency moved Canada to “level 4” of its Covid travel advisory recommendations on Monday, the highest level of danger a country can receive, and recommends against traveling within the country.
He warns that people traveling to Canada must be fully vaccinated, and even those who still are are at some risk of becoming infected and spreading variants of Covid.
Canada joins more than 80 countries currently designated as ‘level 4’ travel risk, including the UK, France, Italy and a handful of other European and African countries.
Canada has been designated a “level 4” hazard for US travelers by the CDC. The agency is now advising Americans not to travel to the country which is currently suffering from an increase in the number of cases. Pictured: A man in Toronto, Ont. Receives a Covid test on June 15
Like the United States, Canada has suffered from a shortage of available tests amid increasing demand. Many public test sites saw long lines. Pictured: People line up outside a testing center in Toronto, Ont. On December 29
The American neighbor is currently suffering from its worst Covid surge to date, eclipsing more than 40,000 new cases per day last week – shattering the previous record of around 9,000 per day. It also sequenced the sixth highest number of Omicron cases of any country in the world, with 23,620 confirmed as of Monday afternoon.
Hospitals across Canada are filling up – and slowly being overwhelmed – by the recent surge in cases.
The eastern provinces of the country, such as New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec, were the hardest hit.
Dr. Bob Bell, Deputy Minister of Health for the Province of Ontario, said Global News that the variant hit the hospital system in his region hard.
He says lockdowns and other warrants may even be imminent as cases continue to rise.
There is hope, however, that the variant is on fire. After peaking at around 42,000 last week, daily new cases have fallen to 36,000 per day.
Schools across the country have remained closed for an additional week of winter vacation to bring the pandemic situation under control.
Alberta and British Columbia, the country’s two westernmost provinces, returned to school this week, and health officials are working to provide thousands of tests to schools across the country to facilitate reopening.
Testing has become a problem for Canada, as it has in America, however.
Rapid home tests are rare and prices have skyrocketed amid growing demand.
Much like major cities in the United States, places like Toronto and Montreal face long lines at public test sites due to high demand and low supply.
PCR tests, often considered the gold standard for detecting Covid, are now also rare, and Quebec has even banned people who do not have symptoms from receiving the tests.
Canada has a high vaccination rate, with 84 percent of residents having received at least one injection of the vaccine and 78 percent fully vaccinated.
About 26% of the population also received a booster.
Along with Canada, Curacao, a small island off the coast of Venezuela, has also been added to the CDC’s list of Level 4 travel destinations.
The addition of Curacao to the list makes it one of the first countries in the South American region to be added to the Tier 4 list during the recent Omicron-fueled push.