COVID Updates for Travel Nurses: June 16, 2021
There have been major COVID developments in the COVID world –– from California fully reopening on Tuesday to new cases dropping to levels last seen at the very start of the pandemic in March 2020 –– but the pandemic is still technically going on.
Here’s what travel nurses need to know about what’s currently happening with COVID, along with travel nursing jobs available right now.
What’s Happening with COVID-19 Right Now
To date, according to the CDC, the US has seen 33,292,045 cases of COVID, with 85,563 new cases in the last 7 days.
The data boils down to some relevant points:
- Case counts decreased about 6% from last week
- Case counts are 94.4% lower than the Jan. 2021 peak
The New York Times COVID case map shows cases and death counts are lower than they’ve been since March 2020. A very few isolated hot spot areas can be found throughout the country, such as in Texas and Montana. Experts predict that similar hot spots will continue to crop up in areas where vaccination rates are low.
If you’re a data person, you may be interested in the COVID blood antibodies tracking that the CDC is doing from samples of blood donations. The data is being used nationally to determine how many people have COVID-19 antibodies, either from vaccinations or natural infections. Having antibodies is called seroprevalence, and currently, the estimated national average is around 33.4%.
What’s Happening in Hospitals Right Now
Overall, hospital admissions have steadily been decreasing since April and continue to decline. The one exception to the overall decrease in hospital admissions is among non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native people–rates for that population have actually risen in recent weeks, according to the CDC.
As hospital admissions and new COVID-19 infections have stabilized, so have travel nurses’ wages. Rates for travel nurses have returned mostly to pre-pandemic Heather Cherveny, ADEX Travel Healthcare recently told TravelNursing.org.
However, there’s been an increase in types of travel nursing jobs, as demand for OR and Med/Surg nurses rebounds. There’s also been a surprising number of Labor & Delivery positions open recently.
If you’re a travel nurse looking for some of the highest-paying rates, keep an eye out for positions in the following areas:
- Pain management
- Urgent care
- Home health (as many patients are coming home sick from hospital stays)
Here’s a sampling of some of the current travel nursing positions and pay rates available right now:
- New York: OR, $5.8K/week
- Massachusetts: OR, $4.9K/week
- Indiana: Cardiac ICU, $4.9K/week
- North Dakota: Med/Surg: $4.8K/week
- Massachusetts: L&D, $4.8K/week
- South Dakota: Long-Term Care, $4.8K/week
- New Jersey: OR, $4.7K/week
- Illinois: OR, $4.4K/week
- California: OR, $4.3K/week
- Michigan: ER, $4.3K/week
- Rhode Island, PACU, $4.2K/week
What’s Happening with the Vaccine
According to the CDC, 52% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 43.7% are fully vaccinated.
Part of the conversation about vaccines has also turned to wondering when — and if — people will require booster shots for the vaccines. Pzifer announced they are now studying vaccinated people who become infected after full vaccination in order to answer this question. It’s likely some sort of booster will be necessary, but health officials don’t have a clear answer on when exactly that will be.
A new study in Nature suggests natural COVID immunity should be long-lasting, but that people who had COVID and then also received the COVID vaccine produce antibodies that are effective against the variants.
In other news:
- A judge threw out a lawsuit from employees of Houston Methodist, who sued the hospital for mandating them to receive the COVID vaccine.
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that employers do have the right to mandate vaccines, although accommodations can be made through the ADA act.
- The CDC and other leading health organizations are continuing to investigate a “higher-than-expected” link between myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) and the Pfizer vaccine.