PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - In Arizona, we're starting to see COVID-19 numbers go up yet again.

"I am sorry to say that we continue to see a rise in the number of COVID-19 disease positive patients that we're seeing hospitalized," said Valleywise Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael White.

According to metrics from AZDHS, only 6% of hospital beds statewide are available -- the lowest rate since the pandemic began. Valleywise hit 100% of adult capacity on Wednesday morning and the COVID-19 ICU is 96% full.

According to metrics from AZDHS, only 6% of hospital beds statewide are available -- the lowest rate since the pandemic began.

"We continue to have adult patients in areas of the hospital that we usually, typically hadn't had adult patients -- in some of our pediatric areas," White said.

The hospital has more than 40 COVID-positive patients -- twice as many as they had three weeks ago. While only 16% of all hospitalizations at Valleywise are COVID-19 patients, the statewide rate is 26%.

"Our healthcare system is seeing a log of pent-up demand and a lot of requests for routine care or care that would need hospitalization," White said.

Hospitals also see patients with the flu, pneumonia, or other seasonal illnesses that provide added stress on staff every year. Vaccination continues to be the best defense against severe COVID-19 cases that could send you to the hospital. Booster shots are expected to be approved for all adults soon.

"When you boost, you multi-fold diminish the likelihood of getting infected," said infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.

For Thanksgiving gatherings, doctors urge everyone to take precautions to help prevent another holiday surge.

"If there are folks that are not vaccinated, consider, certainly, wearing a mask," White said. If possible, he suggests celebrating outdoors.

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