The agency moved Canada to ‘Level 4’ of its Covid travel advisory recommendations on Monday, the highest danger level a country can receive, and recommends against travel to the country.
It warns that people traveling to Canada should be fully vaccinated, and even those that are still suffer some risk of being infected and spreading Covid variants.
Canada joins more than 80 countries currently designated as having a ‘Level 4’ travel risk, including the UK, France, Italy and a handful of other European and African nations.
Canada has been designated as danger ‘Level 4’ for American travelers by the CDC. The agency now recommends Americans not to travel to the nation currently suffering a surge in cases. Pictured: A man in Toronto, Ontario, receives a Covid test on June 15
Like the U.S., Canada has suffered a shortage of available tests amid a surge in demand. Many public testing sites have seen long lines. Pictured: People line up outside a testing center in Toronto, Ontario, on December 29
America’s neighbor is currently suffering its worst Covid surge yet, eclipsing over 40,000 new cases per day last week – smashing the previous record of around 9,000 per day. It has also sequenced the sixth most Omicron cases as any country in the world, with 23,620 confirmed as of Monday afternoon.
In Canada, hospitals are being filled – and slowly being overwhelmed – by the recent surge in cases.
Provinces on the Eastern side of the nation, like New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec, have been struck the hardest.
Dr Bob Bell, deputy health minister of the Ontario province, told Global News that that the variant has struck the hospital system in his region hard.
He says that lockdowns and other mandates could even be around the corner as cases continue to rise.
There is hope that the variant could be burning, out, though. After peaking last week around 42,000, new daily cases have dropped to 36,000 per day.
Schools around the nation stayed closed for an extra week of winter break to get the pandemic situation under control.
Alberta and British Columbia, the two most western province in the nation, returned to school this week, and health officials are working to deliver thousands of tests to schools around the nation to facilitate in the reopening.
Testing has become a problem for Canada, though, just as it has in America, though.
Rapid at-home tests are in short supply, and prices have spiked amid a growth in demand.
Just like major cities in the U.S., places like Toronto and Montreal have struggled with long lines at public testing sites due to high demand and low supply.
PCR tests, often considered the gold standard in Covid detection, are now in short supply as well, and Quebec has even barred 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 shot of the vaccine, and 78 percent fully vaccinated.
Around 26 percent of the population has also received a booster shot.
Along with Canada, Curacao, a small island off the coast of Venezuela, was also added to the list of Level 4 travel destinations by the CDC.
The addition of Curacao to the list makes it one of the first countries in the South American region to be added to Level 4 list during the recent Omicron fueled surge.