TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The explosive increase in U.S. coronavirus cases is raising alarm.

The University of Kansas Health System held its first statewide conference to hear from 18 chief medical officers and infectious diseases doctors to discuss the COVID-19 crisis.

Doctors and hospital leaders from Hays to Kansas City appealed to Kansans to get vaccinated and wear a mask to stop the spread of the coronavirus and its variants.

The surge of hospitalizations is affecting all hospitals, according to the doctors, and affecting the care residents are able to receive.

Dr. Michael Davoren of Olathe West said most patients in intensive care, 79%, are unvaccinated.

Kansas City VA Medical Center’s Dr. Brian Barash said 19 patients were hospitalized and only one was fully vaccinated.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported on Monday, Jan. 3 that the state had 14,855 new cases, 43 more deaths, and 146 new hospitalizations since Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021.

“Vaccines are safe, they are available, we must wear masks, and we must do it now” Dr. Kevin Dishman, Stormont Vail Health, said.

As the super-contagious omicron variant rages across the U.S., new COVID-19 cases per day have more than tripled over the past two weeks, reaching a record-shattering average of 480,000.