COLUMBUS (WCMH) – As hospital capacities reach their limits, doctors still say the majority of people getting sick and dying are those unvaccinated against COVID-19.

Doctors said the situation is even worse at hospitals in rural parts of Ohio, where vaccination rates are lower.

There are now more patients in hospitals in south-central Ohio than at any point during the pandemic, and it’s not much better in central Ohio, with one healthcare official saying there are just four ICU beds available in all of Columbus.

Adena Health System Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Kirk Tucker said for his hospital system, this is the worst it has ever been.

“We’re at max capacity right now,” Tucker said. “The ICU is full and overflowing out onto the floors, onto the step-down unit. The ER is full. Patients are having to wait longer and longer to be admitted to a bed.” 

For many in the healthcare industry, the COVID-19 vaccine was supposed to be the light at the end of the tunnel, but on top of fighting the virus, they are fighting misinformation on the internet.

“I can go out and buy a football,” said Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Chief Scientific Officer Peter Mohler. “I can buy a whistle and I can buy a t-shirt that says, ‘Coach.’ That doesn’t make me a football coach. So what the lay public should really do is look to see is are the experiments being conducted by scientists that have a background in this area?”

Doctors at Ohio State are also treating people who are still suffering from COVID-19 symptoms months after the virus has left their bodies.

They say the key to that is the same as everything else right now: getting vaccinated.

“Even if you’ve got COVID when you’re vaccinated, your odds of having long-lasting COVID symptoms were cut down by almost 50 percent, so not only can you avoid it in the first place, but then even if you get it, you’re less likely to have long-term symptoms, which is pretty impressive,” said Dr. Aaron Friedberg with the OSU Wexner Medical Center.

However, there is one bit of good news. The rate of new infections seems to be decreasing to the point where medical experts believe the peak of this wave of infections will hit sometime within the next two weeks.