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How to Prepare for Flu Season During COVID-19

Health professionals across the nation are urging Americans to get vaccinated against the influenza virus this year to avoid the possibility of the flu colliding with the coronavirus pandemic. 

Here are some recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to help prepare for the flu season and mitigate the strain hospitals may experience from the crossover.

When does flu season typically start and end?

Flu season starts as early as October and can last until January or February.

What’s the difference between the Flu and COVID-19?

“The similarities of the flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses but are caused by different viruses,” according to the CDC. Both the flu and COVID-19 can have varying degrees of symptoms, but the common symptoms include:

  • Fever or feverish chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea (more common in children than adults)

The difference in the viruses include:

  • Mild to severe illnesses of the symptoms above (Flu)
  • Loss of taste or smell (COVID-19)

Developing symptoms also vary between the flu and COVID-19. Typically, a person can develop flu symptoms anywhere between 1 – 4 days after infections. For COVID-19, a person can develop symptoms and appear as early as 2 days after infection or as late as 14 days after infection. It varies by person.

When should I get vaccinated for the flu?

According to the CDC, the best time to get vaccinated will be in September or October. The CDC also recommends avoiding a vaccination in July or August as it can reduce the likelihood of protection against the flu infection later during the Fall and Winter months.

Can I have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time?

It is very possible for someone to have both the flu and COVID-19, as well as other respiratory illnesses. Although research is still being done about COVID-19, it is not impossible to have both at the same time.

The best way to see determine if you have the flu or COVID-19 is to take a test.

Is there a test for both the flu and COVID-19?

Yes. The CDC has developed a test that will check for A and B type seasonal flu viruses and SARS CoV-2, or COVID-19.

Initial test kits were sent out in early August, contact your healthcare provider for more information, or head to the CDC website.

Will the flu shot protect me from COVID-19?

No. The flu shot only provides immunization against influenza viruses. However, if you receive a flu shot and start developing COVID-19 symptoms, a flu shot will help your physician determine a correct diagnosis.

What should I do after getting a flu shot?

Continue practicing safe precautions put forth by the CDC, which includes wearing a face mask in public settings, keeping 6 feet distance between you and other people, frequently washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and practice good hygiene. It is also wise to have some medicine stocked in your cabinet in the event you do develop any symptoms – fever-reducing pills (Tylenol), ibuprofen for muscle aches, cough syrup and thermometer.

Should you start developing any symptoms for COVID-19 after receiving a flu shot, you may also consider self-quarantining for two weeks – if able to.

To find where you can get a flu shot, check with your healthcare provider, Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, Wal-Mart.  

If you would like more information on how to navigate through flu season during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit these websites: FAQ Flu Season 2020-2021 (CDC), Washington Post COVID-19 Article

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Texas, “The Lone Star State”

Happy September! A new month means another addition to our Travel Series and this week we are focusing on Texas! We will be changing up our Travel Series by highlighting two states per month, one being a blog post and the other a social media post. Make sure to head to our social media pages (IG, FB) to read up on our next addition to the series!

Texas is another great state where we staff facilities with Travel Nurses for specialties including ICU, OR, PICU, Med/Surg, and more! We staff metropolitan cities to smaller towns, so wherever you’re looking to go to Texas, KPG Healthcare can get you there.

Continue reading to learn more about some of the great Texas cities we staff!  

The state capital of Texas was voted No. 1 Place to Live in America since 2017 by Forbes Magazine.

Austin

Austin was voted the No. 1 Place to Live in America for three years straight since 2017 and has become one of the fastest-growing cities in the country with big tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook moving into its city limits. As the capital of Texas, Austin is a hub for entrepreneurship, with no shortage of outdoor/nature activities, so much amazing food and an incredible arts/music scene. Affordability is another great appeal to Austin with affordable housing and no personal income tax.

There’s no question the food in all of Texas is great, but Austin allows visitors to experience incredible and unique eateries from Tex-Mex to James Beard Award-winning chefs, Texas Barbecue to killer dives. Into food trucks? There’s no shortage of food trucks in Austin with a handful of food truck parks to choose from, but have you ever tried eating out of a trailer venue? Trailer venues are big in Austin – imagine a typical trailer you’d find attached to a U-Haul but a food stand!

With all the great food in Austin, you’re wondering how to burn it all off (or don’t – do you). The city sits along the Colorado River, which means you have access to so many great river/water activities including, paddle boardingkayakingboat rentals and riverboat tours. Another option for outdoor recreation that’s unique to Austin is the natural swimming holes located within minutes of the city center or a drive out to more reserved areas.

While eating and getting exercise are great, there are also over 100+ attractions and activities to choose from including, museums, theaters, art galleries, walking tours and the occasional festival. Whatever you decide to do or wherever you decide to go, Austin has something in store for people of all ages and all interests.

Things to do in Austin: 50 Free & CheapThrillist’s Things to Do during COVID-19US News Best ThingsTimeOut’s 27 Best Things to Do,

Birthplace to the international convenient store 7/11, Dallas has become a top destination to visit and to move.

Dallas

The birthplace of the convenient store we all know and love, 7/11, Dallas has become a top destination for travelers and those looking to move. The best way to tackle Dallas is to look at its five main districts: Central, North, East, South and West, each containing different aspects of what makes Dallas a top destination.

Central Dallas covers a lot of ground and is in the midst of a period of incredible growth with neighborhoods like the Design DistrictDeep EllumOak LawnUptown and Downtown. There’s so much to do in Central Dallas that anyone can find something to do from good food to unique attractionsunique shopping to rooftop bars. Downtown Dallas is lined with American history featuring a memorial for President John F. Kennedy, a Bonnie and Clyde Tour and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. There’s an endless supply of things to do in Central Dallas, depends on what you’re in the mood for.

North Dallas, and for this blog we will include Northwest and Far North Dallas as “North Dallas,” is the wealthier part of Dallas is where you’ll find the suburban homes. Being more residential areas, these parts of town visitors will find golf courses and parks. South Dallas is a growing section and features a National Historic Landmark, which contains the nation’s largest collections of art and Art Deco architecture, Fair Park. You can also find a handful of rooftop bars, a collection of local eateries and fun for all ages.

West Dallas is home to the iconic Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and Continental Avenue pedestrian bridge. You can head to the Trinity Groves for some good ole fashion outdoor shopping or dive into some delicious local eateriesEast Dallas is where you’ll find outdoor activities like Lake Highlands ParkRory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden and the Bath House Cultural Center. If you’re in the area, you should head over to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden for beautiful garden walks that make for great Instagram photos.

Wherever you go in Dallas, there is always something to do and you’ll never be disappointed.

Things to do in Dallas: Thrillist’s Things to Do during COVID-1950 Free ThingsTimeOut’s Best Things to Do in Dallas,

The most visited city in Texas, San Antonio is a World Heritage Site containing five Spanish missions dating back to the 1700s.

San Antonio

San Antonio is the most visited city in Texas, and it comes to no surprise with all the great things this city has to offer. Being A World Heritage Site, San Antonio is a hub for multicultural experiences, a thriving culinary scene and never-ending fun.

In San Antonio, culture sings. Head to the Historic Market Square or El Mercado to enjoy the sights and flavors of Mexico with over 100 locally owned businesses. Here you can shop, watch live performances, eat and drink, and experience the beauty of Mexican culture that spans three blocks. If El Mercado isn’t enough, take a trip to one of five San Antonio Missions to get a glimpse of life for the people who lived in the Spanish missions in the 1700s. It’s where history meets national parks. Then make your way to one of the great museums the city has like the Witte MuseumSan Antonio Museum of Art or the San Antonio African American Community Archive & Museum.

Head to San Antonio’s #1 attraction, The River Walk, to experience live performances, eat more food, or take a nice boat ride down the river. You can start your River Walk journey at The Pearl, a brewery turned into a shopping area that also hosts an incredible farmers market, and hop on a boat to make your way south toward Downtown for more action.

Into outdoor recreation? You can make your way to the Government Canyon State Natural Area, the only known public land with known dinosaur footprints. Government Canyon is a 12,000-acre park with over 40 miles of hiking/biking trails, a campground and plenty of opportunities for photos. There are also plenty of parks within the city such as Confluence Park and San Pedro Springs Park, which is the second oldest park in the United States.

San Antonio is such a popular destination in Texas and with an abundance of things to do for visitors, it comes at no surprise.

Things to do in San Antonio: Thrillist’s Things to Do during COVID-19Free Things to DoTimeOut’s Best Things to Do in San AntonioUnusual and Cool Things,

Fort Worth, also known as “Cowtown,” has a rich history being home to cowboys, cattlemen and outlaws over 150 years ago.

Fort Worth

Dallas’ next-door neighbor, Fort Worth started as an Army outpost over 150 years ago and grew into the complex, cultural city it’s known for today. In that time, Fort Worth became known as “Cowtown” because it was king of the cattle industry thus earning the nickname.

Fort Worth is beaming with American history and one of the best districts to visit would be the Stockyard. The Stockyards National Historic District was home to cowboys, cattlemen and outlaws, but today it is considered one of the most popular attractions in all of Texas. Visitors can get a taste of the Wild Wild West with a twice-daily cattle drive, a selection of saloonshorseback ridingplenty of barbecues, and an abundance of curated shopping.

Since you’re in the Stockyard area, head a bit south to Panther Island Pavilion where you can find outdoor recreation and an outdoor venue along the Trinity River. The PIP hosts some events like Oktoberfest, Walk to End Alzheimer’s, local bands/artists and 4th of July Fireworks. If you’re into ale or distilleries, Fort Worth has its very own Ale Trail with 13 breweries from a local brewery to a nationally recognized brewery that produces over 20,000 barrels of beer a year. The Distillery Trail contains five distilleries that produce whiskey, vodka, gin and rum.

Fort Worth is a Texas treasure and is the cultivation where rich Texas and American history meets the modern era.

Things to do in Fort Worth: TimeOut’s 10 Best Thing To DoUS News 17 Best Things To Do22 Free Things to DoThrillist’s 28 Free Things To Do

Named after the St. Louis – San Francisco Railway, Frisco is home to the NFL Dallas Cowboys headquarters at The Ford Center at The Star.

Frisco

Once a small farm town, now a booming suburban city, Frisco has become another reason many are moving to Texas. Frisco was just another train stop along the St. Louis – San Francisco Railway until a community started to form resulting in the growth we see today.

Frisco boasts great outdoor recreation, a loud sporting community, a local culinary scene and a small art scene that gives visitors a taste of what makes this city so great. The city was also named a “Bicycle Friendly” Community in 2016, one of eight Texas cities to receive this honor, and provides citizens with over 90 miles of paved and natural trails. Take a stroll at Central Park, head to Harold Bacchus Community Park or take your bike to the Frisco Mountain Bike Trail – you have options!

Did you know Frisco is home to seven professional sports teams? That’s right, seven. The NFL Dallas Cowboys recently moved to their new headquarters at The Ford Center at The Star. The NHL’s Dallas StarsMLS’s FC Dallas, and the Frisco RoughRiders are just some of the other professional sports teams that call Frisco home. Sports are huge in this community, so prepare to be decked out in different gear!

As you can see, Frisco may be a small city but it sure does pack a punch with an abundance of activities and attractions for people of all ages with different interests.

Things to do in Frisco: VacationIdea’s 18 Best Things to DoCrazy Tourist’s 25 Best Things to Do20 Free Things to Do

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If any of these wonderful cities caught your eye, KPG Healthcare offers Travel Nursing assignments in the cities above and more! Email your resume to travel@kpghealthcare.com or you can DM us on our social media pages! Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn

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Travel Series: Tennessee, The Soundtrack to America

Back again with another addition to KPG Healthcare’s Travel Series and this week, we are focusing on Tennessee, aka the Volunteer State.

Did you know Tennessee is home to the one and only Dollywood? Dollywood is named after American songwriter, Dolly Parton, and is a world-class theme park nestled in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains with award-winning shows and fun times for all ages.

We are proud to offer Travel Nursing assignments throughout Tennessee, so continue reading about some of the many awesome cities of Tennessee!

Otherwise known as the capital of country music, Nashville offers visitors once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Nashville

Nashville boasts an incredible music scene from country to jazz, bluegrass to rock, and everything in between, a killer culinary scene (did someone say hot chicken??), and so many great attractions to check out like the Music City Center or the National Museum of African American Music.

Although COVID-19 has closed the majority of businesses, during the summer Nashville is the place to be for music events like the Americana Music Awards and FestivalCMA Festival], and the Tomato Art Fest, just to name a few. If food is more your vibe, some food festivals occur in Nashville like the Food Truck FeastNashville Wine and Food FestivalThe Wizards Beer Festival and so much more. Check out this list of food festivals!

Nashville is more than just food and music events, head over to Cheekwood Estate & Gardens for beautiful gardens and even greater trails for exploration. Cheekwood currently has the Chihuly Exhibits until January 2021, which is comprised of two massive glass art sculptures. If gardens aren’t your thing, there is still plenty to do within the city limits like museums, a wild nightlife scene and art galleries for the creatives. Wherever you go in Nashville, you will find something awesome to do.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Nashville: Free ThingsCOVID-19 ThingsFarmer’s Market ListTravel + Leisure Free Things20 Best Things to Do

Memphis, home to the Blues, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll, is the perfect destination.

Memphis

Home of the Blues, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll, Memphis is a perfect destination for delicious food (we are talking BBQ galore and more), a glowing nightlife, a rich history of music and plenty of great outdoor activities.

Memphis has an incredible food scene that fuels the soul, but the star of the show is none other than Memphis Barbecue. Did you know Memphis is home to over 100 barbecue restaurants?? Yes, you read that correctly. While every state and region of the United States has its own special take on barbecue, but here in Memphis, they tend to focus more on the pig, more specifically pulled pork and a rack of ribs. In fact, BBQ is so big in Memphis they host a World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest during the city’s Memphis in May festival. Make sure to check out some of these great BBQ joints: Central BBQThe Bar-B-Q ShopCorky’s BBQJim’n Nick’s Bar-B-Q

Memphis has a rich Civil Rights history being home to The National Civil Rights Museum and several memorials including the I Am a Man Plaza. If you’re more into music history, you can head over to Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, or one of the many great music museums like the Rock n Soul MuseumMemphis Music Hall of Fame Museum, or the Blues Hall of Fame Museum.

One of the great services the Memphis Travel and Tourism website offers is a quiz to help determine what you should experience during your stay in Memphis. It’s a great way to help get anyone started on their journey through this great city.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Memphis: Free ThingsCool Things to DoBest Things to DoSummertime ActivitiesUnusual Things

The gateway into the Smoky Mountains and Dollywood.

Knoxville

Nestled along the Tennessee River, Knoxville is the gateway into the Smoky Mountains. Strange enough, Knoxville is known as the “Streaking Capital” for its numerous streaking events that occurred during the 1970s.

If there’s anything to check out while in Knoxville it will have to Gay Street or Historic Old City. Gay Street played a pivotal in the cultural and economic development of Knoxville. Gay Street runs through the vibrant downtown that’s lined with historic theatres, museums, parks, shops, rooftop bars and restaurants all within one square mile. Historic Old City also has a vibrant nightlife scene with over 23 bars & nightclubs, 2 distilleries, a concert hall, retail shops, coffee houses and plenty of restaurants to choose from for those 2am “drunchies”. Did we mention parking in Old Town is always FREE?

If there’s one thing anyone should consider visiting while in Knoxville is the one and only Dollywood! Dollywood is located about an hour southeast of Knoxville and is nestled in the beautiful Smoky Mountains. As we mentioned in the intro, Dollywood is a world-class amusement parkwater park, and entertainment hub for visitors. Since its creation in 1986, Dollywood has had visitors from all over the globe and remains a must-see in Tennessee.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Knoxville: US News Best Things to DoForbes 9 Things to DoFree ThingsUnusual Things to DoOutdoor List

A city shared by two states, Bristol is for outdoor enthusiasts.

Bristol

“A Tale of Two Cities” is the perfect summation of this city as its historic downtown sits between Tennessee and Virginia. Besides being a city in two states, Bristol also offers visitors an incredible outdoor recreation scene, a booming music scene with the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, and an awesome downtown district full of shops, food and attractions.

Are you a NASCAR fan? You’re in luck because Bristol is home to the Bristol Motor Speedway, one of the main attractions here in this small but big city. The speedway also offers the option to camp when big races occur, including events like Street Car Takeover, Pinty’s US Short Track Nationals, and more. This speedway also offers a Dragway for those who are into drag racing.  

While in Bristol, visitors should take a trip to State Street, which runs through downtown and is split between Tennessee and Virginia, to find plenty of restaurants, a walking tour, plenty of shops and the historic Bristol sign. The Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is also hosted on State Street and is one of the largest music festivals in the Southeast.

Choose Bristol if you’re looking for a unique city with small-town vibes and an abundance of activities to partake in.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Bristol: 5 Best Things to DoFree ThingsTripAdvisor List

Nestled along the Tennessee River, Chattanooga has attractions and activities for people of all ages.

Chattanooga

Best known for its beautiful natural surroundings, Chattanooga offers visitors an array of activities to partake in. The city offers great outdoor recreation, a 13-mile Riverwalk along the Tennessee River that is scattered with attractions, food, shops and parks, and a thriving nightlife and entertainment scene.

As we said, Chattanooga is great for outdoor recreation with activities like rock climbingparaglidingrope courseskayakingglidingriver rafting, and so much more. If you can think it, Chattanooga will offer it. Lonely Planet names this city the Best in the US for outdoor recreation in 2018. Did you know Chattanooga is also home to the tallest and deepest underground waterfall? Ruby Falls is located deep inside Lookout Mountain and has become of the most popular destinations in the Southeast with cave adventures and ziplining.

Besides a killer outdoor recreation lifestyle, Chattanooga’s nightlife and entertainment scene is growing and glowing with plenty of bars, clubs, distilleries and shows to choose from. If you’re into whiskey, Chattanooga Whiskey is the first distillery to craft whiskey in over 100 years and offers visitors an experience to see the process and, of course, a whiskey flight to sample some of the award-winning whiskey. Don’t worry, there Chattanooga also offers a handful of breweries for those craft enthusiasts like Terminal BrewhouseTap House, and Chattanooga Brewing Co.

Chattanooga is an outdoor enthusiasts dream mixed with good food, a growing nightlife, and plenty of memories to be made.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Chattanooga: US News Best 7 Things to DoTime Out’s 19 Things to DoUnusual Things to DoFree & Cheap ThingsThings to Do

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Tennessee sounds like an adventure of a lifetime with so many great cities and activities to partake in. We only scratched the surface of what the great state of Tennessee has to offer visitors and there is so much more to see, eat, hear and experience. Travel Nurses, you should definitely take one of the travel assignments we offer to fully experience the Volunteer State!

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