POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Lakeland emergency medicine doctor says some patients who are severely ill from COVID-19 wish they had made a different decision about the vaccine.

“They’re on oxygen. They don’t know if they’ll live or die or if they’ll get better or not. We have numerous patients that come in full of regret that they didn’t take that step and get vaccinated,” said Dr. Hal Escowitz, the chief medical informatics officer and chief quality officer at Lakeland Regional Health.

Lakeland Regional Health was treating 250 COVID-19 patients Tuesday, a new high for Polk County’s largest hospital.

“Of our 22 patients in our ICU right now, half of them are under 50 and all of them are on ventilators currently,” said Dr. Escowitz.

The hospital released information Monday stating more than one third of the hospitalized patients were under the age of 50.

Ninety five percent of patients are unvaccinated, according to Dr. Escowitz.

“If you don’t know anyone who’s been affected by this, you will soon,” he said.

With coronavirus surging through Polk County, the district’s chief judge issued new restrictions at the courthouse.

“The order temporarily requires face masks at all courthouse facilities,” Clerk of Courts Stacy Butterfield said.

Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz said he does not intend to take action regarding the surge.

“We are likely to follow state declarations,” he said.