The Covid-19 outbreaks in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida are among the most severe in the world. Many states have worse outbreaks than those listed on the CDCs Do Not Travel List. This raises questions about whether domestic travel should be limited to stop the spread of the delta variant.
Florida and Louisiana have some the highest covid rates anywhere in the world, according to Getty Images. Getty Images
The Key Facts
According to the New York Times data, Louisiana has the highest number of cases of Covid-19 per person in the world. They report 120 new cases per 100,000 people each day. This rate is higher than that of Georgia, an Eastern European country (104 cases per 100,000), and Botswana (96), which are the countries experiencing the most severe outbreaks. The U.S. is responsible for five of the eight most severe outbreaks in the world. These are Louisiana, Georgia and Botswana in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Arkansas, and Alabama. This excludes countries with small populations. A wider search reveals that the majority of the 20 worst outbreaks in the world are located in 13 U.S. States. These include South Carolina (55 per 100,000), Oklahoma (51), Tennessee (49) and Georgia (48). Kentucky (47), Missouri (47), Texas (43), and North Carolina (43). Many states have higher case rates than the majority of the locations on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Do Not Travel List. This list grew Monday with seven additional destinations added by the organization, including France (35 cases per 100,000 people), Eswatini (66) and Israel (444) and Thailand (29) respectively. The CDC advises Americans not to travel to high-risk areas unless absolutely required. However, the agency does not offer a comparable assessment for domestic travel. It suggests that travelers wait until they have been fully vaccinated.
Many countries are on the CDC's Do Not Travel List and foreigners from many countries, including China, Iran and most of Europe, South Africa and Ireland, are prohibited from entering the U.S., with a few exceptions. Some commentators have highlighted the hypocrisy in banning international travel to countries that have a better grip on the pandemic. CNN's Dr. Jonathan Reiner is a medical analyst and doctor. He said that the state of Florida's situation is so dire that it would be prohibited from traveling to the U.S. as if it was another country.
39. According to Forbes analysis, that's the number of states that meet the criteria for being included on the CDCs Do Not Travel List. A very high-risk location is one with more than 500 reported cases per 100,000 people in the last 28 days. The U.S. currently records 36 cases per 100,000 residents per day, and it would very likely exceed that threshold.
Covid-19 cases are rising in countries all over the globe, even those that have been vaccinated well. The variant is more resistant to widespread vaccines and evidence suggests that it can be transmitted equally easily by people who have been vaccinated. This highlights the importance of masks. Low vaccination rates and loose restrictions on public health are virus hotspots. Despite rising hospitalization rates among the primarily unvaccinated, some states have stopped reimposing mask mandates.
According to reports, the White House is considering restricting domestic travel to Florida to stem the spread of the alpha variant. Ron DeSantis stated that any federal attempt to lock down the state by the federal government would be unconstitutional and unwise. DeSantis stated that it would be like an attack on the state for political purposes."
39 States Meet the Criteria for CDCs Don't Travel List (Forbes).
America Reopens Europe to Americans. Why, it Asks, Isn't the U.S. Recoratible? (NYT).
Pandemics Close the Borders and Keep Them Closed (Politico).
Live updates and coverage of the Coronavirus