Doctors from Lee Health Facilities, a health care system in Florida that consists of four acute care hospitals and two specialty hospitals, are begging residents to get vaccinated as hospital beds remain unavailable.
Patients are currently waiting for beds in hallways and closets, doctors announced at a news conference Monday.
Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, Florida, admitted 92 COVID-19 patients on Sunday alone, and eight to 12 patients in the health system are dying every day, Dr. Larry Antonucci, CEO of Lee Health, told reporters, saying the deaths are “not necessary.”
"Our COVID rate in this county is three times what we’re seeing throughout the rest of the United States," Antonucci said.
Nearly 50% of people coming into the hospital system’s emergency department are seeking treatment for issues related to COVID-19, said Dr. Timothy Dougherty, medical director for emergency management.
"That number is insane," Dougherty said, adding that people in their 20s and 30s are dying as well. "No other disease demands these amounts of resources, including BiPAP and ventilators, and all that could be prevented with the vaccine."
The neonatal intensive units within the hospital system are "overflowing" as well, Dr. Stephanie Stoval, a pediatric infectious disease specialist said, adding that pregnant women who contract COVID-19 are more likely to go into labor early or have pregnancy complications.
"It’s never been this full before," Stoval said.
The hospital system is looking for additional spaces to expand treatment, Antonucci said.
-ABC News’ Cherise Rudy