Atlanta healthcare officials gathered outside Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Aug. 19 to urge people to get vaccinated.

Officials from metro Atlanta area hospitals gathered this morning to make an urgent appeal for Georgians to get vaccinate as COVID-19 cases surge and hospitals fill up.

Doctors, nurses, and administrators from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory Healthcare, Grady Health System, Northeast Georgia Health System, Piedmont Healthcare and Wellstar Health System gathered outside Mercedes-Benz Stadium to address the media.

With only about 40 percent of the state’s population fully vaccinated, the highly transmissible delta variant has swamped hospitals with new COVID-19 cases. The peak in cases caused by the variant isn’t expected to come until late September.

The medical professionals were blunt: ICUs and emergency rooms are being inundated with people who have not been vaccinated against the virus.

“Get vaccinated. This is real and it is having an incredible impact on our community,” said Grady Healthcare Chief of Staff Dr. Robert Jansen. “Do the right thing and help prevent the spread of this infection.”

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Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.