COVID Updates for Travel Nurses: February 9, 2022
The U.S. is continuing to inch towards the end of the pandemic. Dr. Fauci announced the U.S. is exiting the “full-blown pandemic” phase and moving towards a situation with more local and personal decisions driving the response.
Unfortunately, deaths from the virus are still high but overall cases and hospitalizations are finally on the decline. Data regarding deaths tend to lag behind case and hospitalization counts so these are expected to slow in the coming weeks as well.
COVID-19 numbers are so low, in fact, that states have started lifting restrictions. New York, for instance — home of some of the strictest regulations — just lifted mask mandates for businesses (mask requirements at school and on public transportation remain in effect).
The CDC warned against lifting mask mandates too early but four other states have made moves to do just that. This includes Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Oregon, which all lifted school mask mandates. California is keeping its school mask mandate in place for now but dropped its universal indoor mask mandate.
Masks or no masks, nurses everywhere are relieved to hear an end to the influx of COVID patients may finally be in sight. Here’s more on what’s happening with COVID across the country, along with travel nurse job postings if you happen to be looking to pick up a travel nursing shift anytime soon.
What’s happening with COVID-19 right now
According to the CDC’s weekly data, COVID cases have started to decline.
Here’s what’s going on:
- To date, the U.S. has seen a total of 76,782,002 cases of COVID
- The death toll from COVID has reached over 900K: 903,038
- The U.S. is averaging about 378,015 COVID cases per day (for reference, last week we saw 596,860 daily cases)
- CDC data saw a death rate increase of about 1.6% from the last reported week, with around 2,404 daily deaths. This is a huge drop from last week’s reporting, however, which showed nearly a 25% rise in deaths from the previous week
- Omicron is responsible for around 95% of COVID cases in the U.S.
What’s happening in hospitals right now
Hospitalizations have also been declining. According to the CDC, there has been an 18% decrease in hospitalizations over the past week.
Currently, West Virginia has the highest hospitalization rate of any state.
The New York Times COVID map and tracker, the country is now seeing one-third fewer cases than it was even in mid-January.
More than 100K people are hospitalized nationwide with the virus, so if you are looking for a COVID-specific travel nursing job, here are some of the current travel nursing positions available with weekly rates listed.
Current COVID-19 travel nursing jobs for February 9, 2022
- Alabama, MICU/SICU: $5.2K/week
- California, MICU/SICU: $6.5K/week
- Connecticut, MICU/SICU: $7K/week
- Idaho, MICU/SICU: $6.1K/week
- Indiana, MICU/SICU: $5.9K/week
- Massachusetts, MICU/SICU: $6.1K/week
- Michigan, MICU/SICU: $6-$6.9K/week
- Mississippi, MICU/SICU: $5.3K/week
- New Jersey, MICU/SICU: $7.1K/week
- New York, MICU/SICU: $6.6K/week
- North Carolina, MICU/SICU: $5.4K/week
- Ohio, MICU/SICU: $8K/week
- Oklahoma, MICU/SICU: $5.1K/week
- Oregon, MICU/SICU: $6.1K/week
- Pennsylvania, MICU/SICU: $7.1K/week
- Texas, MICU/SICU: $4.7K/week
- West Virginia, MICU/SICU: $5.5K/week
What’s happening with the vaccine
Despite high levels of vaccination in the U.S. breakthrough infections are still occurring. 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 the 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.
And in one other 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, 213 million people in the U.S. have now been fully vaccinated. Here’s how the current vaccine numbers stack up:
- 75.7% of the population has received at least one dose
- 64.2% of the population is fully vaccinated
- 90.2 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 anyway?
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.
Interested in assignments in COVID-impacted areas? Start here.