LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Several doctors from Lexington hospitals joined together Monday, Jan 24 to share their thoughts on the rise in COVID cases locally and to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

The medical professionals said while the number of COVID cases is going up, the number of people getting vaccinated in Fayette County is going down. The Fayette County Health Department even canceled two upcoming vaccine clinics due to low participation.

The group said luckily they haven’t seen too many cases of Flurona in Lexington, which is a combination of the flu and coronavirus.

However, the doctors said all their hospitals have 100 or more people being treated for COVID and dozens in ICU, they’re also treating vaccinated people who have waited longer than they should have to get their booster.

The medical professionals said the situation is starting to take a toll on hospital staff.

“We’re supposed to be at the peak today and I hope that’s the case. We’re strained I think all the healthcare systems are strained to the max in terms of taking care of people and remember when we’re taking care of this many COVID patients that means that we can’t take care of other patients as well as we would like to and we can’t take transfers in from other smaller hospitals so we need things to slow down a little bit here, everyone is stretched almost to their limit,” said Mark Dougherty, MD, infectious disease, Baptist Health Lexington.

The group also encouraged everyone to start making the switch from a cloth mask to a K-95 mask to stay better protected.