COVID Updates for Travel Nurses: August 25, 2021
As fall approaches, the Delta variant is showing no signs of slowing down.
According to the New York Times, the death rate from COVID-19 has nearly doubled since the beginning of August, to a rate of around 800 per day.
Overall cases are on the rise too, especially in the south, where vaccination levels are especially low, but also in some western states with higher vaccination levels. School just started for many areas too, and the effects of transmission at the school level could take a few weeks before becoming apparent.
Here’s more COVID updates for travel nurses this week, including what high-paying COVID-19 travel nurse jobs are available right now.
What’s Happening with COVID-19 Right Now
According to the CDC, COVID-19 cases have risen about 14% over the past week, which is down from a rise of over 33% in our last update. The current case count is also 46.7% lower than the peak in Jan 2021.
Here’s some quick data points about the numbers:
- Percent positivity of tests is 9.7% (an increase from last update)
- The Delta variant is still accounting for the majority of all cases
- To date, the U.S. has seen a total of 38,150,911 cases of COVID
- The death toll from COVID now stands at 629,139 in the U.S.
The death count from COVID-19 is also about 10% higher than last week, with an average of about 641 deaths (with historical deaths excluded from the CDC’s count) being reported daily.
What’s Happening in Hospitals Right Now
The CDC also reports that hospitalizations from COVID have been on the rise. This week’s average has increased about 14% from the previous week. Unfortunately, hospital admissions for COVID-19 in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oregon, and Washington are all at their highest levels ever during any point of the pandemic.
There’s also been more of a spotlight on how it’s now apparent that pregnant people are at more risk from COVID-19. The CDC explains that pregnant people are at higher risk of serious illness, including needed ventilation, preterm birth, and even death. One terrible story on everyone’s minds is that of pregnant OB nurse Haley Mulkey Richardson, 32, who died as a result of COVID-19. Her baby also passed away shortly before she did.
The New York Times COVID case map shows that the states that were first hit the hardest with the Delta variant surges — including Louisiana, Missouri and Arkansas — are now stabilizing or even improving.
The states now leading case rates are Florida and Mississippi. Texas has also been particularly hard-hit and has asked for over 6,000 out-of-state travel healthcare workers to fill needs to care for patients.
Overall, there are lots of travel nursing positions available right now. Many of them are offering pay rates above $5k per week. Some are well above $6k or even $8k weekly.
Here are a few of the current travel nursing pay rates available:
- Idaho, Cardiovascular ICU: $8k per week
- California, ER, L&D, MICU, SICU, Med/Surg, Telemetry: $7k per week
- California, L&D: $7k per week
- Missouri, ER: $6.6k per week
- Michigan, MICU/SICU: $6.6K
- Michigan, ICU, Stepdown, Cardiac Cath: $6k per week
- Indiana, MICU/SICU: $6.6k per week
- Florida, MICU/SICU, Stepdown: $6.1k per week
- Kansas, MICU/SICU: $6k per week
- North Dakota, ER, Med/Surg: $6k per week
- New York, ER, PICU, MICU/SICU, NICU: $6k per week
What’s Happening with the Vaccine
According to the CDC, 171.4 million people in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated. Since the Delta variant has started spreading more, the rates of vaccination have slowly been increasing.
There are now:
- 60.9% of the U.S. population with at least one dose
- 51.6% fully vaccinated
The CDC and FDA have officially also appoved booster shots for immunocompromised people. According to the CDC, that includes:
- Being a cancer patient
- Anyone with an organ transplant
- Anyone who’s had a stem cell transplant
- Anyone with immunodeficiency or a diminished immune response due to medication
- Anyone with HIV (untreated or advanced)
It’s recommended that anyone who needs a booster get the same type of shot they received the first time. Johnson & Johnson also just today released a study that found that a booster shot 8 months after initial dose resulted in antibodies 9X higher than they were after 28 days from the first dose.