LEXINGTON, S.C. — A statewide surge has health experts fearing cases and hospitalizations could break records set last year for COVID.
Hospitals across the Midlands are beginning to reach capacity as COVID-19 cases continue to surge.
Lexington Medical Center say their ICU beds are nearly full as COVID-19 patients require serious care.
Dr. Leah Clanton at Lexington Medical Center says the increase in COVID-19 patients is concerning. "We're seeing really sick patients, we're seeing young patients, that seem otherwise heathy, come in and they are super sick and are not getting better quickly," says Dr. Clanton.
"Its pretty terrifying the way our numbers have exponentially multiplied over these couple of weeks, it seems we're doubling our COVID numbers every week."
She believes that, "If we continue at this pace, we may even exceed the peak about a year ago."
According to Lexington Medical Center a month ago, there were five COVID patients in the hospital. As of August 3rd, there's 92. 93% of those patients are unvaccinated. Dr. Clanton said, "Our ICU is busting at the seams and we have very few beds available, because of the severity of cases we have in the hospital."
DHEC data shows 729 South Carolinians were hospitalized with COVID-19, week starting August 2nd, 196 of those ended up in ICU, 87 of those are now on ventilators.
"Patients will come in needing a couple liters of oxygen, by the next they're on a high flow rate if oxygen and by the next day they might be on a ventilator."
Dr Clanton told News19 that in the space of just 40 minutes on August 3rd, four new COVID patients were admitted to the hospital.
Dr. Clanton's best recommendation to keep safe is to get the vaccine.