While there are still beds open in the intensive care unit at Deaconess Midtown Hospital, doctors are dealing with a new crisis during the pandemic -- the UK variant ravaging those in their 20s and 30s.
"We do have those two to three extra patients in our intensive care unit, but they are not mechanically ventilated yet," said Dr. Gina Huhnke, emergency medicine specialist at Deaconess. "And we hope they don't get there."
And the symptoms are severe.
"Shortness of breath -- fever and cough -- body aches, head aches, many patients are getting GI symptoms as well," Dr. Huhnke said. "And sometimes the GI symptoms are the initial symptoms but really, the reason patients initially are hospitalized are respiratory issues."
One 22-year-old -- just received his first vaccine dose -- wanting to be safer around his pregnant sister and hoping that other people his age will follow his lead.
"It was so important to take the vaccine because the Covid is killing a lot of people," said Marchello Hoskins Jr.
And if someone does end up in the ICU with the UK Variant -- Deaconess says they are determined to help patients recover.
"We have plenty of ventilators available," Dr. Huhnke said. "Plenty of ICU beds available and plenty of the medications that we need to take care of the patient."
Doctors urge the public to continue to get vaccinated and to mask up when in crowded places -- to help get those hospitalization numbers down.