MIAMI (WSVN) - The recent rise in COVID-19 cases in South Florida is causing a hospital about-face.

The Delta variant has thrown an obstacle into the fight against COVID-19, and as the numbers go up, the calls for people to get vaccinated are getting louder.

“Jackson Health System will update its COVID threat level to “high” at most of its facilities effective immediately,” said Jackson Health System CEO Carlos Migoya.

The COVID threat level is “high” for Jackson Health System. Visitor restrictions have been reinstated as a new round ramps up in the battle against COVID-19 and the highly contagious Delta variant.

“The people that are getting sick and are not vaccinated are getting sick very fast,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Lilian Abbo. “We were not seeing this in any other waves of the pandemic.”

Jackson is currently treating 143 COVID-positive patients.

The caseload more than doubled in the last two weeks, with 91 percent of patients unvaccinated.

Starting Wednesday, visitors at Jackson will be limited.

Memorial Healthcare System will also be limiting visitors as their cases are climbing.

They’re treating 234 COVID-positive patients currently. Only 98 percent of them are not vaccinated.

Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is in the Memorial Healthcare System, and they, too, are dealing with the Delta variant.

The children’s hospital in Hollywood has been seeing a slow increase in patients.

“The adult numbers are exponentially higher, but when we start to see even the tiniest bump, because we’ve been pretty steady for a while, the tiniest bump means that the numbers are going up,” said Joe DiMaggio spokesperson Caitlin Stella.

And while most of the new cases are in the younger population, there’s an outbreak in Broward County involving seniors and mild symptoms at John Knox Village, an assisted living complex in Pompano Beach.

“Although we were back to having programming, we were not operating at full capacity,” said John Knox Village COO Bill Pickhardt, “so there is no way to know if there was a particular event that people participated in that caused the spread.”

Right now, Florida leads the nation in new coronavirus cases, but again, the majority are among those who haven’t gotten a shot of prevention.

“Anyone age 12 and older is eligible for the vaccine,” Migoya said. “This is our best defense to beat the pandemic.”

As for dealing with Delta in the new school year, both Broward and Miami-Dade counties will be moving forward with their “mask optional” plan for students.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox