COVID Updates for Travel Nurses: September 28, 2021
This week marks the start of vaccine mandate deadlines in many states, which is likely to have implications for travel nurses in the coming weeks.
For instance, Novant Health in North Carolina announced it has terminated more than 100 healthcare workers who refused to be vaccinated by the deadline. New York could lose as many as 83,000 hospital workers after Monday’s midnight deadline to get the vaccine, although the exact numbers and impact are still being determined.
Here’s what travel nurses should know about COVID this week, including what high-paying COVID-19 travel nurse jobs are available right now.
What’s happening with COVID-19 right now
According to the CDC’s weekly data, COVID cases have decreased again this week.
Here are some quick data points about the numbers:
- Cases are down an impressive 16.1% from the last recorded week
- Percent positivity of tests is 7.6% (a decrease from the last update of 8.9%)
- The Delta variant still accounts for the majority of all cases
- To date, the U.S. has seen a total of 42,850,746 cases of COVID
- The death toll from COVID now stands at 686,639 in the U.S.
Unfortunately, though overall case numbers are currently declining, the death rate is rising. It’s up just under 1% from last week. On average, there are 1,557 weekly deaths from COVID right now.
What’s happening in hospitals right now
Just like last week, overall hospitalizations decreased. They’ve gone down about 14.4% from the previously tracked week.
However, hospitalizations tend to lag behind an increase in cases, as it takes time for people to develop symptoms and complications that could land them in the hospital. That doesn’t mean that this increase in cases will definitely result in more hospitalizations, but past trends suggest it could happen.
The New York Times COVID map and tracker continues to give a helpful snapshot of what’s happening with COVID around the country. According to their data:
- Overall, COVID cases are declining nationwide
- Even Florida, which was recently averaging 20K cases per day in August, is down to around 7K new cases per day
- Cases are starting to rise in Wisconsin, Maine, and Minnesota
- Alaska is experiencing an outbreak and is leading the country in cases per capita
Current travel nursing jobs
If you’re looking to travel to a hard-hit area or 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:
- Idaho, Cardiovascular ICU: $8K/week
- California, L&D: $7.9K/week
- Missouri, L&D: $7.2K/week
- New Jersey, Postpartum, ICU, Pediatrics, NICU, ER, PACU, MICU/SICU, Med/Surg/Telemetry: $7.1K/week
- Illinois, Med/Surg/Telemetry, OR: $7.1K/week
- California, PICU: $7.1K/week
- California, ICU, L&D, ER, PACU, MICU/SICU, Med/Surg/Telemetry: $7K/week
- Michigan, NICU Level 3: $6.9K/week
- Illinois, ER: $6.9K/week
- New Mexico, MICU/SICU: $6.7K/week
- Indiana, L&D, MICU/SICU: $6.7K/week
- Missouri, L&D: $6.6K/week
- Michigan, MICU/SICU: $6.6K/week
- North Dakota, Med/Surg, Telemetry: $6.6K/week
- Wyoming, L&D: $6.3K/week
What’s happening with the vaccine
According to the CDC, the majority of Americans (a total of 1.83 million people in the U.S.) have been fully vaccinated.
There are now:
- 64.4% of the U.S. population with at least one dose
- 55.4% fully vaccinated Americans
Pfizer submitted data to the FDA this week showing “favorable” safety outcomes and antibody response for their vaccines in children aged 5-11. No word yet on when the vaccine will be officially approved or granted EUA from the FDA.
The other big news of the week is that the CDC agreed with the FDA panel’s recommendations that the general public should not receive booster shots. Instead, booster shots are only recommended for:
- people over the age of 65
- anyone over the age of 18 at high risk due to underlying medical conditions
- healthcare workers and other workers exposed to COVID at their places of employment
Some hospitals, healthcare facilities, and local health departments have started offering booster doses to people who fall under those guidelines. 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 determine if you qualify and where to receive one.