By Marie Saavedra

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Delta variant continues to ravage unvaccinated communities, in Illinois and to the south and west of the state.

Doctors in Chicago said that should be “exhibit A” for those who are able to get their shots — and choose not to.

READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Defense Attorney Calls For Mistrial And Accuses Judge Of Lunging At Her; Judge Denies Claims And Motion

CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra has the story.

Missouri is in the COVID-19 hot zone, and whether you’ve planned a summer vacation in the Ozarks or not, Doctors said we should all be paying attention.

Dr. Anu Hazra paints our current situation this way:

“I think it’s going to be a tale of two pandemics.”

The University of Chicago Professor of Infectious Disease said people in the city of Chicago are seeing the success the vaccine’s promised.

“We see the positivity rates here in Chicago declining and remining under 1% for several weeks now, and that’s really just a testament to the power of the vaccines,” said Hazra.

But the other side of the tale sits just over state’s southwestern border.

Missouri was lagging behind in terms of their vaccination rate.

READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Disturbance Brings Chance Of Rain-Snow Mix To Our North Overnight

The Show Me State is now gripped by surges of the Delta Variant, showing up in people who’ve not had a shot.

So much so, that the White House got involved, sending support to Missouri and counties that border it in Illinois to stop the spread.

“We’re also mobilizing COVID-19 surge response teams to provide additional support to states in dealing with outbreaks among the unvaccinated,” said Jeff Zients, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator.

In Chicago, it means being cautious if you travel.

Dr. Hazra said that may mean masking up in parts of Missouri even if you’re vaccinated.

It also serves as a reminder to those without protection from the virus that COVID-19 is still here and just as dangerous.

“By being unvaccinated, you are essentially going out to war with no armor,” Hazra said.

“I don’t say that to scare folks,” the doctor added. “It should really empower folks to be like, ‘well I can protect myself by being fully vaccinated.'”

Dr. Hazra confirmed our reporting that the Delta Variant has been in Chicago for some time.

MORE NEWS: View Live Radar

He asked that families use Missouri’s surge as an opening to a conversation about loved ones finally getting vaccinated. One that may be awkward, but he said, worth it.

Marie Saavedra