COVID Updates for Travel Nurses: February 3, 2022
Today marked some big news in the coronavirus world: This morning, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that deaths from COVID-19 have started to plateau worldwide and that a “plausible endgame” to the pandemic is finally in sight.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a plausible endgame to the staffing shortages that continue to plague healthcare facilities around the country. Here’s more on what’s happening with COVID across the country, along with current travel nurse job postings and salaries.
What’s happening with COVID-19 right now
According to the CDC’s weekly data, COVID cases have started to decline, but deaths haven’t started decreasing yet. (In general, the data quantifying deaths from COVID tend to lag behind data quantifying actual infections by several weeks.)
Here’s what’s going on:
- To date, the U.S. has seen a total of 75,302,383 cases of COVID
- The death toll from COVID has hit 888,784
- The U.S. is currently averaging about 596,860 COVID cases per day
- CDC data saw a death rate increase of about 25.1% from the last reported week, with around 2,288 daily deaths
- Omicron is responsible for around 95% of COVID cases in the US
What’s happening in hospitals right now
Hospitalizations, alongside a drop in cases, have also been declining. According to the CDC., there has been a nearly 9% decrease in hospitalizations week-over-week.
The New York Times COVID map and tracker reports that cases and hospitalizations nationwide continue to “plummet,” although death reports are still rising at the moment. However, to keep things in perspective, hospitalization rates still remain at some of the highest levels they have been throughout the entire pandemic.
Current COVID-19 travel nursing jobs for February 3, 2022
- California, various: $6.6/week
- Connecticut, CICU: $7.2K/week
- Idaho, CICU: $8K/week
- Illinois, Cardiac Cath Lab: $7.1K/week
- Massachusetts, L&D: $6.9K/week
- Michigan, MICU/SICU: $6.8K/week
- Med/Surg: $6.9K/week
- MICU/SICU: $7.3K/week
- CICU: $7.2K/week
- ICU, ER, Postpartum: $6.6K/week
- Nevada, L&D: $6.8K/week
- New Jersey, ER, L&D, Postpartum, Med/Surg, Telemetry: $7.1K/week
- New Mexico, ER: $6.1K/week
- New York, ER: $7K/week
- North Dakota, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU: $6.4K/week
- Ohio, MICU/SICU: $8.3K/week
- Oregon, MICU/SICU: $6.1K/week
- Pennsylvania, ER, Med/Surg, Step-Down: $7.3K/week
- Rhode Island, MICU/SICU: $6.4K/week
What’s happening with the vaccine
Despite high levels of vaccination in the U.S. breakthrough infections are still occuring. However, the vaccine is meant to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death. In this regard, the vaccines are still quite effective.
Most people who have been vaccinated or previously infected with COVID and get a breakthrough infection with Omicron are suffering milder courses of illness than people who are unvaccinated or have never been infected. The CDC and leading health organizations are still encouraging vaccinations, even if you have previously been infected with COVID.
There have also been some recent updates about the vaccine. For instance, a study found that there are menstrual cycle changes that can happen after COVID-19 vaccination. According to the study, the effects on one’s menstrual cycle are temporary, lasting for only about one cycle, and do not impact fertility long-term.
In another important update, Pfizer has asked for FDA emergency authorization of its vaccine for children ages 0-5. The agency is expected to analyze the data that Pfizer submitted and release a recommendation as early as this month.
According to the CDC, 212.1 million people in the U.S. have now been fully vaccinated. Here’s how the current vaccine numbers stack up:
- 75.4% of the population has received at least one dose
- 63.9% of the population is fully vaccinated
- 88.6 million people have received a booster dose
The CDC recommends you receive a booster dose of the vaccine if you received the Moderna vaccine at least six months ago and you are:
- 65 years or older
- Age 18+ and live in a long-term care setting
- Age 18+ and have underlying medical conditions
- Age 18+ and work or live in a high-risk setting
Pfizer-BioNTech booster updates
On Jan 4, the CDC also shortened the time interval for the Pfizer-BioNTech booster from 6 to 5 months, so you can now receive a Pfizer-BioNTech booster if you received your original vaccination series at least 5 months ago.
The CDC now also recommends that moderately or severely immunocompromised 5–11-year-olds receive a booster dose (the same as the primary dose) of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine 28 days after their second shot.
If you received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine two or months ago and are 18 years old or older, a booster shot is recommended.
Remember, mixed booster doses are approved, so you’re free to choose which type of booster you want.
Should you bother with the booster if we’re all going to get Omicron anyways?
With Omicron everywhere, it might seem like a waste of time to get the booster if you will come down with COVID anyways. But according to experts, the booster preps your body to not only better fight off Omicron, but future (potentially more dangerous) variants as well.
Because the variants are unlikely to stop, keeping up on your vaccinations may help prevent them from affecting you as much.