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Dr. Chad Krilich, chief medical officer for Providence, which operates three hospitals throughout the county, said they saw a slight uptick in ICU patients earlier this week, and about half of the hospitals' ICUs were filled with COVID patients.

"We still are continuing to see a larger volume of COVID patients than we have seen previously, primarily those patients are younger and they are unvaccinated," Krilich said.

Krilich said those patients are between the ages of 20 and 50 and 86 percent are unvaccinated.

Dr. Gary Green of Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital has also witnessed this trend throughout the delta surge. And although hospital staff is highly prepared to treat COVID patients, he said this has been remarkable.

"The delta surge has been much more manageable but it's also just been even more difficult because we're not used to seeing younger patients struggling to breath, it's a little counter intuitive," Green said.

Green said he's not seeing pediatric cases at this time but urges continued vigilance around unvaccinated children. Green also said the delta surge has brought more pregnant, unvaccinated patients to the hospital. Even with the peak of delta possibly behind us and a 75 percent vaccination rate, Green said it's going to take more immunity to keep people out of the hospital.

"When the delta strain became predominant, that upped the game," Green said. "Now when we are already at 70 percent in Sonoma County for immunity, now we have to get above 85, 90 percent in order to offer that protection."

With three new reported COVID deaths this week among two elderly vaccinated residents with underlying conditions and one unvaccinated resident between the ages of 50 and 64, August is marked as the second deadliest month in 2021.  

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