MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — More than 5,000 people in Mobile County have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and more than 400 have been hospitalized with the virus in the past two weeks.

Health officials say the healthcare system in Mobile County is saturated right now.

“Our hospitals have exceeded all-time highs, we were at 276 the last time, the wave we had. This time we’re over 400 persons in the hospital,” said Dr. Bert Eichold, Mobile County Health Officer.

COVID-19 community transmission rates continue to be very high. At the beginning of the summer, about 3-5% of people being tested for the virus were positive. Now it’s about 30% testing positive.

Hospitalizations from the virus in Mobile County have skyrocketed.

 “Those 400 in the hospital, unfortunately, a number of them are going to die. It’s really sad they made a personal decision not to get vaccinated, and the end result for some will be a loss of life,” said Eichold.

Ascension Providence has postponed non-urgent surgeries to reallocate staffing resources and free up hospital beds. They sent us this statement about the decision:

“Safe and timely access to essential care is vitally important for everyone. Because of the surge of COVID-19 patients, Ascension Providence has postponed those surgeries that are not truly urgent so we can reallocate staffing resources and free up hospital beds. However, we are continuing to perform surgeries and procedures that are urgent or emergencies.  At the same time, we are allocating all of our resources and personnel in the most appropriate and effective manner to ensure care for every patient.”

Mike Burke, Manager, Marketing & Communications, Ascension Sacred Heart

Mobile Infirmary has not suspended any outpatient elective procedures, but they are currently rescheduling any elective procedures requiring an overnight stay. Infirmary Health says Thomas Hospital and North Baldwin Infirmary have suspended both inpatient and outpatient electives. But, their ambulatory surgery centers in Daphne and Fairhope are continuing to perform elective procedures.

“To give you an example, if someone arrives in an ambulance, they’re not able just to let the person out of the ambulance, because the hospital does not have the capacity to accept the person in the ambulance, so we’re making special accommodations in the city,” said Eichold.

Health officials are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as cases continue to soar.

“It is a critical time in health care. Please, everybody, take it seriously,” said Eichold.

Springhill says they are still doing elective surgeries, we are waiting to hear back from USA Health.