COVID Updates for Travel Nurses: November 10, 2021
Instead of continuing on a downward path, COVID cases have remained somewhat stable over the past week, with new cases hovering around 70,000 per day. Data from John Hopkins points to a slight increase in deaths, which is also a first in several weeks.
As winter and the holidays approach, experts are still urging caution. One expert told CNBC that it appears that COVID-19 infections may be following a seasonal trend that’s not necessarily related to the time of year overall. Instead, it may be related to the time of year when people are most indoors regionally due to extreme weather, hot or cold. In Florida, that corresponded with summer when people sought relief inside in air-conditioning areas; in colder climates, that’s in the winter months.
That means we could see more cases in Northeastern states this winter. Across the country, hospitals are feeling the strain, in part thanks to staffing shortages.
Here’s what travel nurses need to know about COVID this week.
What’s happening with COVID-19 right now
According to the CDC’s weekly data, COVID cases have decreased compared to the previous 7-day average. There are about 70,000 new cases being reported every day.
Here are some brief data points about the numbers:
- Cases are down 1.4% from the previous week tracked
- Percent positivity of tests is 5%
- The Delta variant is still accounting for the majority of all cases
- To date, the U.S. has seen a total of 46,626,034 cases of COVID
The weekly death rate for COVID-19 also decreased significantly and is down 8.8%, with an average of 1,110 deaths per week, compared to the prior 7-day average of 1,247.
Should you worry about the Delta-plus variant?
So far, evidence suggests there’s no real need to worry about the Delta-plus variant.
While the variant has been spotted in 8 US states and has been shown to spread faster than other strains, there is no evidence it causes a more severe illness. Vaccines remain the best protection.
What’s happening in hospitals right now
Hospitalizations across all age groups have continued to fall and are down more than 14% from the previously tracked two weeks. Those hospitalized are still primarily unvaccinated people.
The New York Times COVID map and tracker continues to give a helpful overview of what’s happening with COVID around the country. According to their data:
- Overall cases continue to decline across the US.
- The Southern and Northeast states continue to show improvement
- There is some case growth in the Western states, including California, Colorado, and New Mexico
If you’re looking to travel to a hard-hit area or are just wondering what kind of rates for travel nursing jobs are available right now, below is a sampling of some of the current travel nursing positions available:
Current COVID-19 travel nursing jobs for November 10, 2021
- California, L&D, Step-Down, ICU: $7.8K/week
- California, PICU: $7.1K/week
- Colorado, ER: $6K/week
- Idaho, Step-Down, ICU: $7.5/week
- Idaho, MICU/SICU: $8K/week
- Indiana, L&D, MICU/SICU: $7.2K/week
- Illinois, Stepdown, Med/Surg: $6.8K/week
- Michigan, MICU/SICU: $6.9K/week
- Minnesota, PEDS, PICU, NICU, ER/PEDS: $6.5K/week
- Montana, PICU: $6.2K/week
- New Jersey, L&D, ICU, ER, MICU/SICU, CCU, Med/Surg/Tele, Post-
- Partum: $7.1K/week
- Oregon, L&D: $6.7K/week
- Pennsylvania, Med/Surg: $6K/week
- Rhode Island, ER: $6K/week
What’s happening with the vaccine
Nearly 1 million children ages 5-11 received the COVID vaccine in the first few days of the rollout. Over 20,000 vaccinations sites including schools and pediatrician offices are making the
vaccine available for kids.
According to Pfizer, their pediatric dose is one-third the dosage given to teens and adults. Children who received their first vaccine this week will be fully vaccinated by Christmas.
Vaccine numbers for people aged 12+ have increased from our last update. According to the CDC, a total of 194 million people in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated. There are now:
- 67.7% of the U.S. population with at least one dose
- 58.5% fully vaccinated Americans
- 13.4% of Americans have received the booster dose
If you’re a nurse, odds are you’ll probably be offered your flu shot soon if you haven’t gotten it already. The CDC says it’s perfectly safe to get your COVID booster and your flu vaccine at the same time. In fact, some nurses are purposefully scheduling both at the same time so that they’ll only have to recover once from any potential side effects.
The FDA also gave the green light for mixed dose boosters. A mixed dose booster means you can get a different type of booster from the original COVID-19 vaccine you received.
If you’re on the fence about a booster, the CDC recommends you receive a booster dose if you are:
- over the age of 65
- over the age of 18 and at high risk due to underlying medical conditions
- are a healthcare worker or other worker regularly exposed to COVID
Most hospitals, healthcare facilities, and local health departments have started offering booster doses to people who fall under those guidelines, and some hospitals are even requiring staff to get boosters.
If you’re interested in receiving a booster dose, be sure to talk to your doctor to see if you qualify and where to receive one.