ATLANTA (CBS46) -- Covid-19 trends are not headed in the right direction.

The surge is alarming healthcare providers across Georgia. On Monday, doctors gathered outside the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville to call attention to what they’re seeing.

“85 percent of the covid positive patients in the hospitals are not vaccinated,” said Dr. Deepak Aggarwal.

Gainesville is in Hall County, which now has a 12 percent positivity rate.

“The number of covid positive patients in Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s hospitals has jumped from 20 to 110, the most we’ve had since February," Aggarwal said.

With many still hesitant to get vaccinated, providers are stressing the need for it, while combating misinformation.

“Getting vaccinated will not guarantee you that you won’t get covid,” said Dr. Erine Raybon-Rojas. “But the key thing is, getting vaccinated dramatically protects you against severe infection, reducing the chance that you will die from covid or be hospitalized from covid.”

In Atlanta, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was joined by Health and Human Services Secretary Zavier Becerra and other lawmakers on Monday to address healthcare needs,

“It’s very tough when we are trying to get back to business as usual and people are still vaccine hesitant,” said Bottoms.

“I can’t tell you the depth of frustration that Americans are feeling who have done everything they can, they’ve done it right, to know that now we’ve got to go back to wearing masks,” said Becerra.

Atlanta took a step back last week, reverting to phase three of its reopening plan. Masks are once again required indoors, and capacity is limited at food and retail establishments.

How long restrictions will be needed is unclear.

“The longer we let this virus survive, it mutates and we want to do everything we can to keep it from mutating into something we don’t have a vaccine to stop,” the secretary said.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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