COVID Updates for Travel Nurses: June 3, 2021
COVID case numbers are way down in the U.S. and many states are almost fully back to “normal” status.
It’s a huge sign of hope that the pandemic might soon be officially called over in the U.S. So what does that mean for travel nurses? Let’s take a closer look.
What’s Happening with COVID-19 Right Now
The most recent data available from the CDC shows a current COVID-19 case count of 33,093,238. The death count has remained stable, with 591,539 deaths.
To put these numbers into perspective, they boil down to this:
Both cases and deaths are the lowest they have been in over a full year
The rate of positive tests is less than 3% — almost the lowest it’s been in a year!
The New York Times COVID case map shows a massive decrease of infections across the entire country. In fact, they describe it as cases “plummeting,” with only 23K infections being reported per day across the entire nation, the lowest it’s been in a full year. There are only a very limited handful of “hot spots.” Cases have dropped by a full 50% over the past two weeks. The NYT adds: “No state is seeing a major increase in cases.”
Worldwide, other nations are not faring as well. For instance, in Brazil, the virus seems to be especially affecting pregnant women and babies, costing the lives of over 1,000 pregnant women and 579 babies under the age of one. Many of them were completely healthy before contracting the virus.
Health officials will continue to monitor these variants, especially as fall approaches. But for right now, the U.S. appears to be breathing a sigh of relief.
What’s Happening in Hospitals Right Now
The CDC reports a 91.4% decrease since the highest peak in cases in January 2021. Hospitalizations are also down. There’s been a 10% decrease over the previous week tracked and the current weekly average is the lowest it’s been since August of 2020.
The CDC noted that, despite lowered case counts and increasing numbers of vaccinations, there are a number of implications for post-pandemic life. Namely, that people will be getting back to regular medical care.
Hunkering down at home meant that people put off routine and regular preventive care, including seeing their doctor for wellness checks. Healthcare providers are anticipating a return of patients for things like physicals. Sadly, with a delay in care, there may be new diagnoses and complications. And, without masks and social distancing, nurses should be prepared for the return of colds. Plus, after a year of virtually no influenza, it’s expected to make a big reentrance this coming flu season.
With COVID numbers down, there are fewer COVID-19 travel nurse assignments available. But with “normal” medical activity picking up again, there will be new opportunities for travel nurses as well. In recent weeks, there has been an expanded range of new travel RN jobs open — some with higher pay than we’ve seen in a while, especially for non-COVID assignments.
Here are some of the available travel nursing jobs and rates available right now:
- Oregon: ER, $7K
- Oregon: MICU/SICU, $6K
- Connecticut: MICU/SICU, $5K
- Massachusetts: OR, $4.9K
- Missouri: OR-Peds, $4.9K
- North Dakota: Med/Surg, $4.8K
- Massachusetts: L&D, $4.8K
- Massachusetts: NICU, $4.7K
- New Jersey: OR, $4.7K
- Ohio: ER, $4.6K
- Michigan: ER, $4.4K
What’s Happening with the Vaccine
According to the CDC, 50.8% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 40.9% are fully vaccinated.
Vaccination rates have slowed down considerably, leading some companies and areas to incentivize vaccinations. For instance, Ohio just gave away $1 million to a lottery winner who received a vaccine dose. The 22-year-old told the NYT she thought the call that she won was a “prank.”
In other news:
- 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 studying a link between myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) and the Pfizer vaccine especially. As of now, the risk has been primarily in young men over the age of 16 and is considered small and temporary, especially as compared to the risks of the disease itself.
- A famous British model passed away after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine following a severe thrombotic episode.