" know people are tired of this and they want to resume their normal life. The virus is going to continue though until we have enough of the population vaccinated to reduce transmission,” said an AHN doctor.By Nicole Ford

PITTSBURGH, PA (KDKA) – After weeks of minimal reported coronavirus cases, the numbers are trending back up. In fact, statewide cases are up over 80 percent in the last week.

“I do walk around feeling like I have complete protection since I’m vaccinated, I got the Pfizer,” said Joanna Weissert, who works Downtown.

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Weissert’s mentality matches most Pittsburghers we talked with when it comes to the pandemic and infection. But over the last week, case numbers are rising and fast.

“New cases are up more than 50 percent compared to a week ago and new cases are up in every state in the United States. It’s estimated that about a third of the population in our country are living in counties with high COVID transmission,” said AHN Dr. Marc Itskowitz.

Dr. Itskowitz told KDKA more than 80 percent of those cases are from the Delta variant.

“It can feel like a minor cold or no symptoms at all,” Itskowitz said.

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The doctor said those are the symptoms for most vaccinated people who contract the variant, but how likely is that to happen?

A new study suggests the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine is significantly less effective against this variant compared to the original strain of COVID-19.

“For everyone else who got the J&J vaccine, I don’t think they need to do anything at this time but just be aware that the protection from that one shot may not last indefinitely,” Itskowitz said.

As more of the virus changes, Itskowitz said it’s likely all vaccines will need a booster by the end of the year.

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“There is a concern about this next surge especially heading into the fall as kids go back to school and companies are asking people to come back to work. I know people are tired of this and they want to resume their normal life. The virus is going to continue though until we have enough of the population vaccinated to reduce transmission,” Itskowitz said.