Although it’s been roughly nine months since countries across the world have been in various states of lockdown, COVID numbers continue to rise, and precautions are more important than ever. However, it’s still a great time to be a travel nurse. View updated stats relating to COVID and the latest suggested steps to COVID prevention below:
Pay Benefits of Being a Travel Nurse Right Now
- Despite the pandemic, right now is a good time to be a travel nurse. Hospital and the medical field needs plenty of help, a good role for a travel nurse to fill.
- As stated on Nurse.org, the pay for a travel nurse has skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic. Typically, travel nurses earn around $3000 per week, but as an incentive to work during the pandemic, that pay rate has increased in some places to over $10,000 per week.
- If you have additional questions on how to become a travel nurse, the Stability Healthcare blog has plenty of information to offer.
COVID Cases are the Highest They’ve Been
- On December 2nd alone, The New York Times reported 2,885 new coronavirus deaths and 199,988 cases across the United States. Currently, in the US, there have been over 14 million reported cases and over 257,000 deaths. Keep in mind these are only reported cases, not including those who may have been asymptomatic and went untested or those unable to get tested due to limited testing capability.
- Rising COVID numbers vary by state. Although numbers are high across the USA, there are a few states where numbers are slowly decreasing, such as Maine, Vermont, and Hawaii. Texas has now surpassed California and leads with the highest number of reported COVID cases.
- COVID numbers outside of the United States vary between countries. According to CNN, the US leads the world in the highest number of cases and death, with India following behind with 9.5 million cases and 138,000+ deaths.
Worry Surrounding the Upcoming Holidays
- Multiple government officials and healthcare leaders, including Dr. Fauci, have expressed concern that COVID numbers will aggressively rise due to the holidays. Dr. Fauci has called on self mitigation to help prevent the spread of COVID, however, without any official mandates in place, increasing numbers are still expected.
CNBC stated that “while the CDC warned people against traveling for Thanksgiving, more than 9 million people traveled in airports running up to and after the holiday.”
- As seen during Thanksgiving, families and friends tend to gather during holidays, which poses an elevated risk for contracting and infecting others with COVID. Not only are people more likely to interact maskless with others they do not live or work with, but the longer the time people are together, the higher the probability of contracting COVID from an infected person is.
- If you do plan on gathering with family or friends for the holidays, the CDC encourages wearing masks, being six feet apart from others, and frequently washing hands. There is less risk of congregating outdoors while still wearing a mask while not eating or having a drink. Guests should remain on the quieter side, since taking and singing loudly have proven to pose a higher risk of passing COVID. View the full list of prevention methods here.
New Vaccine Developments and Who Will Get it First
- Multiple companies have announced developed vaccines that are reliable and effective, but none are yet officially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. According to the CDC, in late November there were five different COVID vaccines that were in large-scale clinicals trails: AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. It’s expected that some versions of the vaccine will be approved by mid-December, which will spur a roll-out amongst several states.
- As reported by NPR, the general consensus is that the vaccine “should go to health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living.” Due to its expected limited availability, people within those groups might also be parsed through to determine who is in greatest need for a vaccine. NPR points out that the primary goal of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is to “reduce severe illness and death from the disease and to lessen disruptions to society and the economy from the pandemic.” The CDC released a loose plan for vaccine roll-outs which can be viewed here.
- When the vaccine will be made to the general public is hard to say. Those who don’t work in a healthcare position and who aren’t considered high risk might be waiting until spring or summer 2020
Other COVID-related News
- Surprising many, the CDC has revised its quarantine guidelines. Originally, people were encouraged to quarantine for 14 days following a known exposure. Now, the CDC says that a seven-day quarantine will suffice if said person gets a negative test result after being tested no earlier than the seventh day. Additionally, quarantine can end if the exposed person isolates for 10 days with no symptoms.
COVID statistics are continuously updated. Suggested sources are The New York Times, CNN, and any other reputable publications and sites. The CDC is the best source regarding information on how to keep yourself and others safe from COVID.