CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Doctors at Trident Medical Center say they have seen a rise in Covid-19 cases in the last several weeks and recommend people to be cautious ringing in the new year.

Dr. Kenneth Perry with Trident says Covid-19 cases across the state have increased with the rise of the Omicron variant, but hospitalization rates for the variant have remained in check so far.

“Although hospitalizations are slowly creeping up, the number is much less than the number of cases we are having right now,” says Dr. Perry.

With people gathering at bars, restaurants and at home for New Year’s Eve experts worry those who are most vulnerable could be in danger.

“It seems to be much more of a mild variant, but at the same time for the certain substance of population it still could be pretty serious,” says Dr. Perry.

Medical officials say taking precautions is key to preventing our healthcare system from getting overwhelmed such as monitoring symptoms, testing if possible, and considering your risk factors before you celebrate.

“You should really make sure that you are not going to any event and bringing the virus with you. If you are not feeling like well body aches you should probably not participate in these events,” says Dr. Perry.

Health experts say getting vaccinated and boosted is the best way to prevent serious illness.

“What you hope for is a very passible version of the virus that’s not going to cause people to not be hospitalized and not cause downstream affects for people. That’s how we hopefully get people vaccinated or to have antibodies appropriate for it,” says Dr. Perry.

Dr. Perry says testing is important, but he recognizes they are hard to come by and says other precautions like hand washing, mask wearing, social distancing and knowing the vaccination status of those around you can be effective as well.