DALLAS - COVID-19 hospitalizations are the highest they've been since the winter.
And in Dallas County, there are only 25 ICU beds that are available as of Friday. It's also getting tougher to get tested.
The North Texas region passed 2,000 COVID patients for the first time in five months.
With more students heading back to school, Gov. Greg Abbott is urging people to get vaccinated.
As the contagious delta variant continues to spread in North Texas, more and more people are getting tested.
MCI Diagnostic Center in North Dallas has been testing people for COVID at multiple locations, including Dallas Love Field.
Weeks ago, patient levels at their Greenville Avenue location were in the single digits. Now, things are busier.
"Our drive-thru, we were getting a few individuals here and there. Now, things are picking up," said Kristy James with MCI Diagnostic Center. "We are getting 75-100 patients a day."
This weekend is the tax-free shopping holiday for back to school.
In a message posted on Twitter, Gov. Abbott said the vaccine is also an important back-to-school item.
"It’s also a great time for teachers, faculty, parents and students age 12 and up to get the COVID-19 vaccine," he said. "The COVID vaccine is the best defense against getting the COVID virus."
A new CDC study revealed people who have contracted COVID before and are still unvaccinated are two times more likely to get infected again.
North Texas hospital levels continue to rise.
For the first time since February, the region surpassed 2,000 COVID patients, occupying more than 14,000 of hospital bed capacity. And a third of ICU beds are adults with COVID.
In the first week of school, Garland and Dallas ISD reported nearly 100 new cases from staff and students. Soon, more students and teachers will be in the classroom.
The message from the governor is clear: get vaccinated.
"This weekend, don't forget to get your school supplies and to get your shot," he said.