Thinking of getting away to Cancun or Cabo? The CDC is not mincing words.
“Travelers should avoid all travel to Mexico,” according to its latest guidance, which places Mexico in the Level 4 risk category, highest risk level for COVID-19.
Mind you, most countries around the world are now at Level 4, and the vast majority currently have much less community spread than the United States.
Yesterday, the United States recorded 180,083 new Covid-19 cases and 2,597 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, Mexico recorded 8,819 and 825 deaths. Even if you adjust for population — the U.S. has 2.6 times as many people as Mexico — it would appear that north of the border is the riskier place to be right now.
You can get an apples-to-apples comparison by looking at incidence. Over a seven-day rolling average, the United States has recorded 48.2 new daily Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 7.2 new cases per day per 100,000 people in Mexico, according to the risk-assessment map from the Harvard Global Health Institute and Brown School of Public Health.
Still, that’s not to imply that it is safe to go to Mexico at the moment, as most experts think Mexico’s actual numbers are higher because of low testing levels. On October 5, Mexican health authorities changed their tracking methodology and subsequently reported a sharp jump in Covid-19 cases and deaths, reported The New York Times. And on Monday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization confirmed that “Mexico is in bad shape.”
The U.S.-Mexico land border is closed to nonessential travel by land until at least December 21. But air travel is another story. Americans can fly into Mexico and do not need to show proof of a negative test or undergo quarantine. And airlines have been adding flights for the upcoming winter season.
If you decide to travel to Mexico despite the Level 4 warning, the CDC says you should get three separate Covid-19 tests. The agency now recommends that all international travelers get a viral test for Covid-19 at three different times — before, during and after their trip.
Here in the United States, coronavirus is spreading like wildfire across the country, with a giant hot spot covering Mountain West and Midwest.
The White House coronavirus task force has warned that Covid-19 risk nationwide is “at a historic high.”
“If you look across the United States, we are really in a public health crisis right now because we are having a surge the likes of which is worse than the surges that we all saw in the late winter, early spring,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.