NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Delta variant is causing issues for major hospitals in Middle Tennessee.

“That’s where the struggle has come and that’s the reason we’ve kind of stopped doing most of our operations and elective procedures,” Dr. Todd Rice said.

Rice, the director of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s COVID unit, said around 90% of the 225 cases are from unvaccinated patients.

“So many people either know somebody that had COVID and it wasn’t very bad or they think even if I get it it isn’t going to be bad or ‘it won’t happen to me,'” Rice said.

But Rice is advising people to get the vaccine, saying there is limited staff to support all of the cases coming in.

“I think a lot of the exhaustion is the mental exhaustion of going through this and not being really certain of where the end is,” Rice said.

Tracking COVID in Tennessee
📊 COVID-19 cases among TN school-age children
📊 Tennessee’s Current COVID-19 hospitalizations
📊 New COVID-19 cases and deaths reported by month

On Wednesday, Sumner Regional Medical Center said out of the 60 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, 93% are unvaccinated. At Maury Regional, 95% are unvaccinated out of 111 patients.

Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton posted that at Cookeville Regional Medical Center, 95 out of the 120 patients hospitalized have not gotten the vaccine.

Rice said those that have been vaccinated that are coming into the VUMC emergency room are mostly immunocompromised people, and their cases are not severe.