WASHINGTON — Three countries have been added to a growing list of places the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Americans should avoid traveling to due to COVID-19 even as the disease also tests hospital and ICU capacities in the U.S.
On Tuesday, Jamaica, Brunei and Sri Lanka were all added to the CDC's Level 4 (Very High) risk level. In total, there are now more than 70 countries listed at that level including Switzerland, the Bahamas, France and Greece.
For those who must travel to these destinations, the CDC advises they first be fully vaccinated.
On the alerts for Jamaica, Brunei and Sri Lanka, the CDC warns travelers should still wear a mask and stay six feet apart from others if traveling there. The CDC adds that "even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants" -- an issue the U.S., itself, is dealing with.
The U.S. is averaging more than 150,000 new coronavirus cases and close to 1,500 deaths per day, and several U.S. states have more COVID-19 patients in the hospital now than at any other time during the pandemic.
Overall, the outbreak is still well below the all-time peaks reached over the winter, when deaths topped out at 3,400 a day and new cases at a quarter-million per day.
The U.S. recorded 26,800 deaths and more than 4.2 million infections in August. The number of monthly positive cases was the fourth-highest total since the start of the pandemic.
The COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective against hospitalization and death, but many tens of millions of eligible Americans remain unvaccinated. Nearly 40% of Americans 12 and older are not fully protected.
Last week, the European Union recommended that its 27 nations reinstate restrictions on tourists from the U.S. because of rising coronavirus infections there, but member countries will keep the option of allowing fully vaccinated U.S. travelers in.