COVID Updates for Travel Nurses: July 29, 2021
COVID infections, deaths, and hospitalizations are increasing in the U.S. right now, which is leading to big changes, some of which feel like setbacks.
For example, the CDC just announced a new recommendation that even fully vaccinated people wear masks in some situations and Disney reinstated mask mandates for all park guests. There’s been talk about health organizations and federal employees imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Overall, it’s a confusing time. As we look towards the fall, here’s what travel nurses know about COVID right now.
What’s Happening with COVID-19 Right Now
According to the CDC, COVID-19 cases have increased by 46% over the past 7 days. The current case count is still 87%, which is still lower than the January 2021 peak.
Here’s some quick data points about the numbers:
- COVID cases increased in 90% of all US jurisdictions
- The original strain of COVID is no longer detectable
- The Delta variant is now dominant
- The US has seen a total of 34,631,447cases of COVID to date, according to the CDC
- The death toll from COVID now stands at 609,441
While most infections continue to be in unvaccinated individuals, there have been breakthrough infections reported in fully vaccinated people. One of the first reported breakthrough deaths occurred last week in a 33-year-old New Orleans woman who was fully vaccinated.
Overall, experts are warning that the COVID numbers are concerning and are only likely to worsen as people return to school and spend increasing amounts of time indoors.
COVID continues to be unpredictable. For instance, in the UK, after all virus restrictions were lifted, experts predicted infections would surge again. Instead, they have dropped dramatically.
It remains to be seen how COVID numbers will change in the US, but right now, the numbers suggest that vaccinated or previously infected people are pretty safe from the variant and that outbreaks are limited to the unvaccinated.
What’s Happening in Hospitals Right Now
Since June 25, 2021, the CDC reports that hospitalizations from COVID have been on the rise. This week’s average has increased about 32.2% from the previous week.
In recent weeks, hospitalizations were increasing for younger people, between the ages of 18-49, while older adults were avoiding admission to the hospital. This week, however, that trend has changed. Hospitalizations for adults over the age of 65+ have once increased.
The New York Times COVID case map shows that case counts are still relatively compared to last March. Still, some parts of the country appear to be struggling, especially in areas with low vaccination rates.
Parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Texas and Florida are experiencing Delta variant outbreaks. Overall, the NYT reports low infection rates in the upper midwest and northeast.
As outbreaks continue to occur, an increasing number of travel nursing positions are opening up in hotspots. Here’s a sampling of some of the current travel nursing positions available:
- New York, ER: $6k/week
- Michigan, Cardiac Cath Lab: $5.9k/week
- California, Case Management: $5.8k/week
- Massachusetts, L&D: $5.4k/week
- Rhode Island, Med/Surg/Telemetry: $5.3k/week
- Rhode Island, L&D: $5.3k/week
- California, NICU/NICU Level 2: $5.2k/week
- Kansas, OR: $5.2k/week
- Kansas, ER: $5.2k/week
- Missouri, OR: $5.2k/week
- Idaho, L&D: $5.2k/week
- Massachusetts, OR: $5.1k/week
- New Jersey, Hemodialysis: $5.1k/week
What’s Happening with the Vaccine
According to the CDC, 16.3 million people in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated. That translates to:
- 57.1% of Americans received at least one dose
- 49.3% are fully vaccinated
Vaccination rates, in general, have declined without picking back up. The data suggests nearly all US deaths from COVID are occurring in people who haven’t been vaccinated. Some states have increased the push for vaccines, like Michigan, which is offering a $1 and $2 million lottery, along with $50K daily drawings for anyone who gets the vaccine through July (and the larger drawings for those who already were vaccinated.)
As of right now, the CDC and FDA are maintaining their stance that COVID vaccine boosters are not needed, although they are continuing to gather research and data if that will change in the future.