PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) – COVID-19 hospitalizations and the positivity rate are increasing again for the first time since earlier this year while vaccination rates remain low, according to Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson.

“We have seen significant increases in positivity,” Robinson said Monday during his weekly news conference. I know they were 10 percent then we were at 13.6 percent for the last week.”

Mayor Robinson said there are 58 people hospitalized with COVID-19 at Pensacola’s three hospitals. In January, there were almost 300 hospital patients, but that number went down each week as vaccinations ramped up. It lowered to fewer than 15 hospitalizations in June, but now it’s on the rise again.

 “The number one way to get over this thing is seeing what we’re doing with vaccinations,” Robinson said. “Even in this case probably a year ago, if we had this kind of positivity rate, we would be significantly higher in hospitalizations.”

Vaccination rates remain low across Northwest Florida.

In Okaloosa County, 38 percent of residents are fully vaccinated. That number is lower in Escambia County at 36 percent and it’s even lower in Santa Rosa at 33 percent.

“If you get vaccinated, it’s still out there, it’s still a variety of things, but the impact, the severity, the intensity of what happens with COVID and your experience is much less if you get the vaccine,” Robinson said.

Robinson said he wasn’t sure if this increase is due to the July 4th holiday.

Last year, the mayor met weekly with hospital leaders and he said he will meet with them again to get updates next Monday.