LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- University of Louisville Hospital said COVID-19 admissions are almost five times higher than just two weeks ago.

The hospital said it went from seven patients to more than 30. All but two of those patients are not vaccinated.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Smith said the Delta variant is so contagious that it's spreading rapidly in our community. He said many sick people ask if they can get a vaccine at the hospital, and at that point, it's too late.

"There's a lot of supportive care we can do, but we really don't have a cure for this," he said. "And the treatment options, while they are there, they are still very limited on what we can provide of them. Most of the time, it's just supporting them through this until they can get better on their own."

Doctors want more people to get vaccinated. And, even if you are, they're reminding people they can still get infected.

"The fact that these are going up this early, we haven't started back to school yet for most areas, we haven't gone back to inside activities for most areas, makes me concerned for what we we see when we get into early fall or early winter," Smith said

To put the new COVID-19 numbers in perspective, U of L Hospital averaged about 150 patients at the height of the pandemic. But even with the lower numbers now, Smith said those who have symptomshould still get tested, even if they're vaccinated, so they can be sure they aren't spreading the virus to others.

Smith said Louisville is lucky so far with not seeing a lot of people hospitalized from COVID-19, but things can quickly change.

"I think if you look in parts of the commonwealth, there are vaccine rates of 20% in some counties, and that's going to burn through those counties as any pandemic has before," he said.

Doctors stress, even if you're vaccinated, you are not immune to the Delta and other variants.

"The vaccine is 91-92% effective," Smith said. "That does still leave a margin of error for those that get the vaccine that can still get COVID."

Smith said people who have had COVID before also aren't immune from the Delta variant

"It's slightly different enough that people that were affected by the original strain, if you have not been vaccinated, you don't have protection against it," he said. "So you're seeing a second infection from people that got it previously."

There's universal masking at U of L Hospital and it's limiting visitors. Smith says the staff is 86% vaccinated with another 6% starting the vaccine process.

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