COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Ohio’s top doctor notes that we’re at the very beginnings of experiencing a second delta wave and it’s coming just in time for the holidays.

The state and local doctors are urging Ohioans who haven’t gotten the shot yet — to please consider it especially if you’re planning to gather for the holidays.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said numbers across the board are trending up with more than 6,000 new cases reported Thursday.

He worries that the delta variant is coming back in full force.

“In the last 21 days, hospitalizations have in fact increased by 23 percent and ICU admissions have increased by 15 percent – these numbers put quite simply are going in the wrong direction.”

These increases coincide with the approval of pediatric vaccines for kids which has only been available for a short amount of time. Vanderhoff said continued mitigation measures are still key.

“I think our recommendations remain what they have been — we’re at a time of very high rates of transmission during those high rates of transmission everything comes to play: get vaccinated if you’re eligible, masking continues to be a prudent step for us to take particularly when we’re gathering in places like school,” he said when asked about schools relaxing mask measures.

Is Ohio prepared for what’s to come?

Dr. Joseph Gastaldo with OhioHealth expects COVID transmission rates to remain high for much of the winter months. He said doctors are still meeting and discussing the next steps.

“We support each other when needed we have an exchange of ideas for what may be working better than others and I can tell you anecdotally myself — once a month I have a touch base virtual meeting with infectious disease physicians in all of the central Ohio health care systems,” said Gastaldo.

Vanderhoff added, “I believe we’re very well prepared — I think that we demonstrated throughout this pandemic a nimbleness that frankly other states ended.”

Dr. Vanderhoff said there’s a simple way to help hospitals deal with a potential surge and that’s getting vaccinated.

“I think what we should be looking at our opportunity to protect ourselves and those around us.”

Dr. Vanderhoff was also asked about boosters — will the state recommend a booster for people 18 and older because of spread concerns? Several other states have moved forward with that.

Vanderhoff said at this point, they don’t see a reason to jump the gun and will await recommendations from the CDC.