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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Doctors and health departments issued another warning as COVID-19 cases creep up and put a growing number of people in metro hospitals.

The University of Kansas Health System reported that it had more people hospitalized because of COVID-19 on Friday than it had since February. Doctor Steve Stites pointed out that tens of thousands of people have been vaccinated since then.

“These are the highest numbers we’ve had as a health system since February the 19th. So clearly it’s on the rise. I don’t like it. I think troubles here,” Sites said.

Stites and other doctors attribute the jump to a combination of the spread of the Delta variant and a high number of people in the metro who remain unvaccinated. The health system said it’s seeing a lot of young people who are unvaccinated testing positive for the virus.

Health experts say we’re going to need to buckle down again instead of moving on from COVID-19, like everyone hoped would happen by now.

“I think it’s the rise of the Delta virus, combined with the removal of mask mandates and social distancing,” Stites said. “And people gathering together going back to Kansas trying to do everything like it’s a normal life, bringing COVID in and you can see, you watch the numbers, they’re just crawling up and every county by county, right up from the Springfield area and from the northern plains, northern part, north central part of Missouri. They’re kind of converging on to Kansas City.”

While it’s true that some people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 after getting vaccinated, doctors say it’s mostly people who have other extreme health conditions. They say they are not seeing young, healthy, vaccinated people being admitted to hospitals.