COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Health leaders in Ohio are worried about the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19. 

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the state’s chief medical officer, spoke Wednesday along with Dr. Andrew Thomas of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, and he said there is one way to stop the spread of this dangerous variant: for more people to get vaccinated.

“The reality is we have two Ohios,” Vanderhoff said, “an Ohio that is vaccinated and protected on the one hand, and an Ohio that is unvaccinated and vulnerable to Delta on the other.”

Vanderhoff said a snapshot of COVID-19 data shows that the Delta variant is rapidly spreading and is on track to become the dominant strain in Ohio.

One reason is the way it spreads.

“The key message that I describe to my patients and groups I speak with is the way the virus is transmitted from my mouth to your mouth, or your nose, is the same as it was before, but the difference for the Delta variant is that it takes less of going from my nose or mouth to your nose or mouth to potentially infect you,” Thomas said.

Hospitalizations in Ohio are starting to rise, but they say it’s still not as concerning as it was earlier during the pandemic.

As of Tuesday, 48.2% of the state’s population has at least started the vaccination process.