Dear CIS Abroad Community,
Over the past month we have seen COVID numbers in many parts of the world surge due to the spread of the Delta variant. Many countries where we operate have seen an increase in positive case numbers throughout the month of July and in early August. Because of this recent COVID Delta wave the CDC and the United States Department of State have increased their advisory levels to Level 4, their highest level, for a number of countries where we will operate Fall 2021 programs including the UK, Spain, Thailand, and Ireland. Case numbers in the United States are following a similar trajectory as we head toward the beginning of the Fall semester.
CIS Abroad is closely monitoring the situation in all areas where we operate around the world to ensure that hospitals have the capacity to meet the basic, non COVID, medical needs of study abroad students. With the increase in vaccination rates globally, particularly in areas where we are operating, we have seen that hospital rates are not rising as quickly as COVID case numbers. Hospitalization rates are expected to remain lower, compared to previous COVID waves, where there are large numbers of vaccinated people. The effectiveness of the vaccine gives us confidence that even in areas where there have been large increases in COVID case numbers, we will be able to proceed with Fall 2021 programs.
More than 98% of CIS Abroad’s Fall 2021 students have received COVID vaccines. We know that this will give them greater protection against severe COVID, and it will help to reduce the likelihood of transmission within the communities where we operate.
During the Fall 2021 term we are likely to continue to see measures put in place by local governments around the world to slow the spread of COVID, including travel restrictions, mask mandates, vaccine requirements for certain activities, limited capacity at certain establishments, etc. We anticipate that we will also continue to see similar measures in many parts of the USA throughout the remainder of 2021.
We will work closely with students, parents, and with US university partners to do everything we can to keep them informed as we proceed into the Fall 2021 term.
Please reach out to any member of the CIS Abroad team with questions, we would be happy to assist.
Joe Debiec and the CIS Abroad Risk Management Team