Health Risk Index Report

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The CIEE Health Risk Index (CIEE HRI or HRI) is one of the variables CIEE uses to assess risk in countries impacted by COVID-19. This edition is only starting to capture the anticipated wave of Omicron as many of the indicators we use are trailing indicators. However, available data continues to show that this particular variant has a significantly less impact on both hospitalization and death rates as it rapidly spikes and recedes, and it is described as a “milder” form of COVID-19.

  • Africa/Middle East countries are largely holding steady, with the exception of Botswana showing a slight increase in risk and Jordan a significant decrease in risk.
  • Asia-Pacific countries are largely holding steady, with the exception of Australia showing a notable increase in risk, and Singapore a notable decrease in risk.
  • Europe has seen many changes in risk over the last few weeks. Denmark, England/UK, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain have all seen an increase in risk. Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, and Russia have all seen a decrease in risk.
  • Latin America countries are largely holding steady, with the exceptions of Argentina and Costa Rica showing notable increases in risk, and the Dominican Republic a slight decrease in risk.
  • North America countries are all increasing in risk with both the United States and Canada showing notable increases.

Vaccine Boosters Strongly Encouraged
CIEE strongly recommends that all students get a COVID-19 vaccination booster prior to departure if it has been six months since their second Pfizer or Moderna shot or two months since they received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Students should not rely on being able to get booster shots abroad as this is far from certain in most cases. Students can find a location near them to get their booster prior to departure by visiting

In order to safeguard the health of the whole CIEE community, we are also strongly encouraging all staff, instructors, and homestay families to get their COVID-19 vaccination booster shot as soon as they are eligible.

About the HRI:

  • The index is a numerical value from 1 to 100 where higher numbers indicate higher risk as assessed by our calculations.
  • The lower the number, the fewer risk factors that will require mitigation. 
  • Arrows represent changes to the index of greater than two points - green arrows if the change was in the direction of lower risk; red if the change was in the direction of increased risk.  
  • The values are for comparative purposes only and are calculated weekly or biweekly so we may assess changes over time.
  • The values do not represent absolute risk, and there are no universal thresholds at which CIEE would or would not run a program.
  • Data is provisional and subject to change. Some risk values for past weeks may change occasionally as countries and/or data source sites update their past data to reflect more accurate information such as case and death counts for specific days.
  • The vaccination column does not take into account vaccine type/brand. There are additional vaccines beyond the three authorized in the US being used throughout the world, which in studies have shown differing efficacy rate

Community Transmission by Country

In the figure above you can see how the level of community transmission (as measured by new cases in the past 14 days per 100,000 people) in different countries compares with community spread in the United States as a whole (the red line). Because local COVID-19 impact is wildly variable across the United States, for additional comparison, there is a line to indicate community spread in the state with the lowest community spread (Montana), 5th highest community spread (Maryland), and the highest community spread (New Jersey).

Health Risk Indices by Region

Below are four figures offering an additional way to visualize the changes to the HRI over time. Each figure shows the HRI from July 7, 2021 through January 3, 2022 for countries within a region and, for comparison, the United States. In each figure, the y-axis shows HRI values from 0 - 100. Because a lower HRI value indicates a lower risk as assessed by our calculations, a downward slope represents a decrease in risk (a.k.a. an improvement in conditions). Note there is a line to indicate when our calculation methodology changed (beginning of HRI 2.0).

Africa & Middle East

Asia Pacific


Latin America

North America


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