DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — While all eyes are on the new omicron variant, hospitalizations are rising across the state, including the Miami Valley. Local hospitals are now preparing for a new wave of COVID-19 patients.

Right now, hospitals are filling up with people sick with the delta variant.

“We are seeing that sort of second peak that followed the September wave. And it’s kinda been hanging around for the last two weeks or so. So every hospital in our region has seen that increase. Fortunately, it has not been as dramatic as what it has been seen in some of the northern counties,” Dr. Roberto Colon, the Chief Medical Officer of Miami Valley Hospital, explained.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are more than 3,900 hospitalizations in the state. That number has not been that high since January 12, 2021, when the state recorded 4,000 hospitalizations.

Dr. Jeffery Weinstein, the patient safety officer at Kettering Health, said hospitals are already busy right now as people take care of surgeries and appointments before the new year.

“The hospitals are pretty full of both COVID and non-COVID patients. This is a busy time of the year. Many people like to have their surgeries done at the end of the year because they’ve met their health care deductibles,” Dr. Weinstein said.

With full facilities, adding a new variant into the mix can be concerning. Dr. Colon said there is no reason to panic yet, but hospitals are starting to prepare.

“What every hospital does at this time is we evaluate, what are our stretch capacities? What are things we can do to help expedite patients as they’re moving through the environment of care? What are things we can do to maximize our capabilities in order to ensure that we can function and continue to care for patients?” Dr. Colon said.

While it is still very early, there is some cautious optimism surrounding the omicron variant.

“At least in the other countries, most of the cases of Omicron that have been identified are mild cases that would not require hospitalizations,” Dr. Weinstein said.

Doctors used this as a reminder to wear masks in large crowds or gatherings, get tested if someone feels sick, and get the vaccine to help slow the spread of all COVID-19 variants.