U.S. CDC Realigns Mask and Travel Health Notice Systems

CDC Travel Health Notices alert travelers to health threats
passengers with masks on shuttle to the airport
TheOtherKev from Pixabay
Atlanta (Vax Before Travel)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced two COVID-19 travel-related updates based on the evolving COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and internationally.

As of April 13, 2022, the CDC confirmed its Mask Order remains in effect while the agency assesses the potential impact of the rise of cases on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and healthcare system capacity.

And the CDC confirmed the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will extend the security directive and emergency amendment for 15 days through May 3, 2022.

Previously, the U. S. NIH said face masks could trap fluid droplets that exit the mouth while you’re speaking. If you have COVID-19, these droplets contain the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that can be inhaled by others.

Secondly, the CDC is updating its Travel Health Notice system for international destinations. The current Notices help the public understand when the highest level of concern is most urgent.

CDC uses Travel Health Notices to alert travelers to health threats worldwide and advise how to protect themselves before, during, and after travel. 

The CDC says the new system will reserve Level 4 travel health notices for special circumstances, such as rapidly escalating case trajectory or extremely high case counts, emergence of a new variant of concern, or healthcare infrastructure collapse. 

While Levels 3, 2, and 1 will continue to be primarily determined by 28-day incidence or case counts.

With this new configuration, travelers will have a more actionable alert for when they should not travel to a certain destination (Level 4), regardless of vaccination status, until we have a clearer understanding of the COVID-19 situation at that destination.

The new level system will be effective on April 18, 2022.

The CDC reaffirmed it would continue to monitor COVID-19 levels in our communities, nationally, and abroad to provide the most up-to-date guidance to keep travelers safe and healthy.

The CDC’s latest travel vaccination recommendations are posted at this link.

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