ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – The St. George Regional Hospital is now at capacity, including the ICU after the latest surge in COVID-19 cases in Southern Utah.

Hospital officials say there are more COVID-19 hospitalizations in St. George now than there were this time last year.

“Our ICU is very close to capacity, we have not had to expand our ICU outside of the physical ICU space like we did in the winter,” says Dr. Patrick Carroll, the Medical Director for Intermountain Healthcare St. George Regional Hospital.

Dr. Carroll says there has been a point this summer where every ICU bed has been filled with patients waiting to be admitted.

“The vast majority of patients coming to the hospital are unvaccinated, we do see occasional patients that have received either partial vaccination or fully vaccinated come to the hospital, but that’s rare,” he says.

There is a shortage of staff and Dr. Carroll says by wearing masks, you can help prevent these hospitalizations.

“What I recommend is, we have seen very clearly that masks were effective, they were not perfect, but we saw very clearly over the last year masks are and can be effective,” he says.

Officials say they are looking over plans similar to those used last winter, if the surge continues.