TAMPA, Fla. - The majority of people being hospitalized as the COVID-19 delta variant spreads are still mostly unvaccinated, according to hospital officials, who continue to urge people to get vaccinated and prevent themselves from becoming severely ill with the novel coronavirus.
The BayCare system now reports cases are 10 times higher than they were at the beginning of July. Across its 14 hospitals, there are more than 1,100 COVID-19 patients – most of whom are not vaccinated.
By comparison, in July of 2020, BayCare maxed out around 700 patients, and that was before the vaccine.
"Some of them are dying despite our best efforts and best care," said Laura Arline, BayCare's chief quality officer. "If you're not vaccinated, this delta variant is remarkably transmissible. It will find you."
Tampa General Hospital is reporting more than 90% of its beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients and has nearly 100 patients being treated in the ICU.
Inside Sarasota Memorial, nearly 1 in 3 patients are COVID-positive and 76 of the 100 ICU beds are treating COVID patients.
AdventHealth is also seeing a surge, so much so that they have surpassed their highest peak since the pandemic began.
Like other hospitals, AdventHealth says 90% of the patients are unvaccinated.
"We've had patients who are about to be intubated who are asking to be vaccinated as if that will help. It's too late by then," said Dr. Doug Ross, chief medical officer of AdventHealth Tampa. "This delta variant is not done. It will continue to spread as long as we have some people in the population that aren't vaccinated."