Iowa is in the middle of one of its biggest surges in COVID-19 cases.

Doctors at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics are basing that information on the number of cases currently in the state.

They say the number of infections leading to hospitalizations is putting pressure on the health care system, and they want people to see how many different ways the system is being affected.

During a video conference Thursday morning, CEO Suresh Gunasekaran said the hospital has never seen this kind of demand for COVID-19 testing during the entire pandemic, and it is at an all-time high.

Officials are also seeing many health care workers being infected or having to take care of loved ones who are infected.

Gunasekaran says, right now, it is crucial for people to wear masks and avoid large crowds.

He also recommends people get vaccinated because it lessens symptoms of COVID-19 and decreases the likelihood of people having to go to the hospital.

“We know that the incident of disease is less among the vaccinated. We know that the vaccinated do much better — even if they do get infected — and finally, we know that the rate of hospitalization and death is less for the vaccinated as well,” said Gunasekaran. “And so our first line of defense will be to encourage our fellow Iowans to get vaccinated.”

The Rock Island County Health Department will be offering a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic for kids over the age of 5 this weekend. More information about the clinic is here.