Health Risk Index Report

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CIEE has expanded the lens for assessing risk to include a multitude of inputs and indicators that better inform our senior leadership team on the relative safety of supporting students and staff in a particular region, country, and city. Among the variables we use in our assessments is the CIEE Health Risk Index (CIEE HRI or HRI), a snapshot of safety considerations in countries impacted by COVID-19. The index is calculated using multiple metrics (including prevalence of the virus, infection rates, transmission types, slope of new daily cases and mortality rates, health infrastructure ratings, and more) derived from multiple sources (WHO, Johns Hopkins, Worldometer, Department of State, Centers for Disease Control, DOMO, Global Health Survey, paid and open source intelligence services, and our own analytical tools).     

The column on the far right of the Health Index Report,  is our Health Recency Report or HRR. This metric represents reported new cases during the last 14 days per 100,000 people, and is provided so CIEE and stakeholders can compare the current level of community transmission, normalized by population.

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.

About the HRR:

  • The HRR does not take into account past cumulative infections beyond 14 days or any other risk factors, only provides insight into real-time community spread. 
  • The minimum value for the HRR is zero, as that would represent virtually no community spread in the last 14 days. 
  • The larger the HRR value, the more people being infected daily in that country. 
  • CIEE has aligned the HRR step metric system with the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) 14-day new cases per 100,000 system.

Community Transmission (HRR) 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 are lines to indicate community spread in different states, including the state with the lowest community transmission (California) and the highest community spread (Michigan).

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 April 13, 2020 through April 27, 2021 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).

Africa & Middle East

Asia Pacific


Latin America

North America

Countries with Notable Change to HRI since Last Report

Since the last report, we have observed a decrease in risk in a number of countries, with a reduction in case numbers and spread. These include:

  • Africa/Middle East
    • Jordan
  • Europe
    • Czech Republic
    • France
    • Italy
  • Latin America & Caribbean
    • Chile
  • North America
    • United States

The following locations had an increase in risk since the last report:

  • Asia-Pacific
    • Japan
  • Latin America & Caribbean
    • Argentina
    • Costa Rica

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