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'It's a serious virus' | Delta variant now makes up 83% of all COVID-19 cases in the US

The figure is an increase of 33% when compared to the early part of July 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NORFOLK, Va. — The COVID-19 Delta variant now makes up 83 percent of cases in the United States, according to the CDC.

Phyllis Moore said she and her husband, Jesse, couldn’t wait to get vaccinated.

"My reason is because of my age and the other one is, I have diabetes," Phyllis said.

"Best to be safe than sorry," Jesse added in agreement.

On Tuesday, they brought their grandson to get his second dose of the vaccine before school starts.

"This is very serious and it seems like if you’re just walking down the street, you can get the variant," she said.

That Delta variant is something health officials are very concerned about. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said it now makes up 83 percent of all cases in the country.

"This is a dramatic increase up from 50 percent the week of July 3rd," she testified in a hearing before the Senate Health Committee on Tuesday.

Dr. Elizabeth Broderick said we’re seeing it too, right here in Hampton Roads.

"Delta variant is here. Delta is much more contagious than the original variant of COVID," she said. "It takes less time to catch it."

Right now, only 53 percent of Virginians are fully vaccinated.

"The overwhelming majority of deaths from COVID-19 are now occurring in unvaccinated people," Walensky said.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, 99 percent of COVID-19 related deaths in the state are unvaccinated people.

98 percent of hospitalizations are also people who have not gotten their shot.

In Virginia, there have been only 1,157 "breakthrough" cases out of almost 194,000 cases since the beginning of the year. That’s 0.03 percent of cases.

RELATED: Virginia Department of Public Health debuts COVID-19 dashboard that tracks cases by vaccine status

A case is considered a breakthrough case when someone who is fully vaccinated develops symptoms or tests positive for the virus.

"You can’t tell no one to do it, but if you really listen and look around, it’s a serious virus. It is affecting more people than anything," said Phyllis. "They’re constantly talking about how many people are dying. We have friends also who passed away from it, who has had it and got very sick."

Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday during that same hearing, the Delta variant is so dangerous because it spreads much faster than any of the others we’ve seen so far.

However, he and other health officials have repeatedly said the vaccines are effective against the variants.