NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The omicron variant is causing a surge of new coronavirus cases in Metro Nashville. According to the Nashville Coronavirus Task Force, one in three coronavirus tests is showing positive.

“Right now we have the largest amount of coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic,” Task Force Chair Dr. Alex Jahangir said. “Now is an important time to get vaccinated or receive a booster shot.”

Dr. Jahangir spoke about how the vaccine is effective in preventing serious coronavirus sickness. He said the majority of people in the hospital with the virus are unvaccinated.

“Due to the omicron variant showing milder symptoms, this has prevented so many people needing to go to the hospital,” Dr. Jahangir said. “The vaccine doesn’t prevent you from catching the virus, but it does help you not have such bad complications.”

The best way to prevent catching and spreading the virus is to wear a mask, social distance, and receive a vaccination.

Metro Nashville is expected to see a continued rise in positive cases, for the next few weeks.