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Philadelphia Hospitals Nearing Full Capacity As COVID Cases Rise Across Region

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Health officials in Philadelphia and Camden say the omicron variant hasn't been detected here locally, but they say its arrival is inevitable. They say now is the time for residents to be prepared.

The area is nowhere close to being in COVID-19 crisis mode, but health officials in Philadelphia and Camden County are urging residents to do their part in keeping us all safe.

The number of COVID-19 cases is once again on the rise. Philadelphia's health commissioner says hospitals are nearing full capacity, and that includes children's hospitals.

There has been an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks.

There are 3,174 cases in Philadelphia, and 1,526 in Camden County.

Now is not the time to let your guard down.

"If you're not vaccinated or haven't had your booster yet, please avoid getting together with others indoors. Go for a walk with a friend or do a video call rather than having coffee together. Keep your mask on and consider double masking for added protection when you're indoors with others," Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said.

Philadelphia health officials don't foresee shutdowns, saying masks and vaccine mandates for employees across the city have been working.

"Keep doing the things that have protected us for the last two years. Get vaccinated, wear masks, avoid crowded indoor spaces and stay home if you're sick," Bettigole said.

Health officials on both sides of the Delaware River are urging those who have already gotten vaccinated to get their booster shots, and those who haven't to go ahead and get theirs.

"It's disappointing because there's a way to prevent the numbers from going up. All you have to do is get vaccinated and get your booster," Camden County Commission Director Lou Cappelli Jr. said.

Health officials say it'll be a few weeks before they see the full effect of the cases that may have stemmed from Thanksgiving holiday gatherings.

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