Doctors want to make it clear: we're already in the grips of a fourth coronavirus wave.
On average, 140,000 new COVID cases are being reported in the U.S. each day.
It's all thanks to the Delta variant.
The latest modeling projects another 110,000 deaths by December 1st.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation says some of the hardest-hit states in the South may have hit their peaks.
But hospitalizations are likely to keep surging in other parts of the country.
125,000 people could wind up in the hospital by the third week of September.
The make-or-break factor is who gets vaccinated.
"People have basically decided the epidemic is over in terms of their daily behavior,” said Dr. Paul Casey, Chief Medical Officer at Rush University Medical Center.
“We're very much following what we have in the past, which is we're preparing for the worst," said Dr. Chris Murray, Institute For Health Metrics. "We're always making sure that we're ready for whatever, you know, whatever comes our way.”
At least 13 states or cities including Colorado, Illinois, and Maryland are requiring COVID vaccines for their health care workers.
So far, nearly 53% of the country is vaccinated, according to the CDC.