COVID Updates for Travel Nurses: July 6, 2022
More than 113K new COVID infections are occurring daily, but so far, new subvariants don’t appear to be more deadly.
COVID infections appear to have stabilized, but the New York Times cautions that appearances may be deceiving as most states have stopped reporting data about the virus and more people eschew formal testing for at-home tests or skip testing altogether.
What we do know is that there are two Omicron subvariants–BA.4 and BA.5–that are quickly taking over as the dominant strands, a trend that experts successfully predicted. The subvariants avoid some of the antibodies produced by both natural infection and vaccines, but the good news is, they don’t appear to cause more severe disease than previous strains. And overall, officially speaking, there are more than 113,000 new COVID-19 infections occurring every single day in the U.S.
According to the CDC, just over 19% of the country is considered “high risk” for community transmission right now. Here’s more on what’s happening with the virus in the U.S. now and what COVID travel nurse jobs are available.
What’s happening with COVID-19 right now
As with any holiday, epidemiologists expect a rise in both infections and hospitalizations following the 4th of July, although official numbers will take at least a week or two to come in.
Here are the stats from the CDC we have right now:
- To date, the U.S. has seen a total of 87,661,913 cases of COVID
- The CDC’s death toll from COVID has reached over 1 million cases, at 1,013,986
- The U.S. is currently averaging about 97,430 cases per day
- Deaths have decreased slightly from last week, with an average of 255 COVID-related deaths per day (our last update was 306 deaths per day)
What’s happening in hospitals right now
There are about 4,375 daily COVID-related hospitalizations occurring right now, but again keep in mind that number is expected to rise after gatherings for the 4th of July. Hospitalizations are still occurring at higher rates among those who are not vaccinated, as well as adults over the age of 65. According to the New York Times, about 33,000 people total in the U.S. are in the hospital with COVID, with only 4,000 of those in the ICU.
Travel nursing opportunities may increase again with any rise in cases and hospitalizations, as well as the summer months when many healthcare workers may take time off. 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 July 6, 2022
All of the following positions are MICU/SICU/ICU roles, which are most commonly COVID units:
- Alabama: $2.5K/week
- California: $4.8K/week
- Florida: $3.9K/week
- Indiana: $2.4K/week
- Kansas: $2.2K/week
- Louisiana: $2.5K/week
- Massachusetts: $4.7K/week
- Michigan: $3.8K/week
- Missouri: $4K/week
- New Jersey: $4.5K/week
- New Mexico: $2.5K/week
- New York: $6K/week
- Ohio: $2.8K/week
- Oklahoma: $2.5K/week
- Oregon: $2.9K/week
- Pennsylvania: $3.1K/week
- West Virginia: $4K/week
- Wyoming: $3.3K/week
What’s happening with the vaccine
The CDC is now officially recommending that all people 6 months of age and older receive an initial COVID-19 vaccination series, with additional recommendations for booster shots.
Moderna has also developed a revised vaccine, the bivalent booster vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273.214, that better fights the Omicron variant and potentially other variants—the revised vaccine will most likely be offered as a booster vaccine in the fall. The bivalent vaccine targets two different strains of a virus and has the potential to provide broad immunity to COVID-19 as new variants develop because it uses mRNA to target specific mutations in a protein that appear across both older and emerging COVID-19 variants. However, it’s very possible that even with the revised vaccine, a new subvariant could take over, rendering even that version less effective.
To add to the COVID vaccine round-up, the FDA has supported Novavax, a fourth COVID vaccine that uses different technology from the other currently available vaccines, moving to the next round of authorization. That means that while it’s not fully approved for emergency use just yet, it’s well on its way, with “thumbs up” from the FDA advisory board. Novavax works like traditional vaccines by introducing a small fragment of the actual coronavirus into the body—but in this case, the fragment has been built by a lab.
The FDA has also suggested that COVID vaccines may be recommended annually, much like the vaccines for influenza and pneumonia. Researchers are also in the process of developing a blood test that can measure someone’s immunity to COVID-19, whether through vaccines or infection. Ideally, the test could help guide someone to decide what steps they should take to protect themselves in the future from COVID.
Additionally, researchers are working on developing an inhaled COVID vaccine that would be shelf-stable for up to 3 months. And last but not least, there is talk of introducing a universal vaccine that can offer some protection as new variants and subvariants continue to crop up.
According to the CDC, 222.3 million people in the U.S. have now been fully vaccinated. Vaccination rates have definitely slowed from earlier in the pandemic, but here’s how the current vaccine numbers stack up:
- 78.3% of the population has received at least one dose
- 66.9% of the population is fully vaccinated
- 106.3 million people have received a first booster dose (this is a pretty significant increase since our last reporting, which points to people taking protection against a possible new wave)
- 18.2 million people have received a second booster dose
The CDC recommends that kids between the ages of 5 and 12 receive 1 booster dose, while people aged 12 and over should receive a series of two booster shots to protect against severe complications from COVID-19 infection.
Here are the exact recommendations from the CDC regarding boosters:
|If your first vaccine was:||Get this booster:||When:|
|Pfizer-BioNTech||Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for your first booster if you’re over 18; Pfizer-BioNTech for children between 6 months and 17. ||5 months after your first vaccine series; 3 months if you’re severely immunocompromised. |
If you’re getting a second booster, get it 4 months after your first. (Second boosters are not recommended for kids under 11.)
|Moderna||Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.||5 months after your first vaccine series; 3 months if you’re severely immunocompromised. |
If you’re getting a second booster (recommended for age 50+ and anyone severely immunocompromised), get it 4 months after your first. (Second boosters are not recommended for kids under 11.)
|J&J/Janssen||Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna|
You can also get a second mRNA-only booster if you’re over 50.
|2 months after your first vaccine.|
If you’re getting a second booster (age 50+ or severely immunocompromised), get it 4 months after your first.