SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The University of Utah Hospital says its ICU is at 100 % capacity and like so many other hospitals in the state, a majority of those patients have COVID-19.

Doctors at the University of Utah say they are seeing an uptick in cases among those ages five to 15 and fear that now school is in session, cases could rise.

Whether the Pfizer vaccine is safe for children is still being decided, but as of yesterday the FDA has approved the vaccine for adults. Doctors say those who are unvaccinated are causing the virus to mutate.

“People who are unvaccinated are going to have more viral replication in their body, and the ability for the virus to mutate,” says Evolutionary Virologist and Postdoctoral Researcher, Stephen Goldstein. “You can think of it as the more viral gnomes exist in the world the more mutations are going to exist in the world and the people who are unvaccinated are going to harbor larger amounts of virus over a longer period of time.”

Doctors say the Delta variant is to blame for more than half of the new cases, causing hospitals to struggle to take care of both COVID-19 patients and a rise in non-COVID patients.

Tuesday, the state reported 1,140 new COVID cases 246 of which among those in K-12 grade.

Considered the large amount of folks unvaccinated doctors at the University of Utah expect case numbers to rise even higher in the coming weeks.