CHICAGO (WLS) -- Children are "more likely to get infected" with the Delta variant when compared to the Alpha variant because it's more transmissible, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"So it isn't that they (children) are more susceptible, but this virus is a more transmissible virus," Dr. Fauci told CBS This Morning. "Therefore, children will more likely get infected with this than they would with the Alpha variant."
Deanna Rolón, a mother of 7-year-old twins, pondered the latest variant information facing her unvaccinated kids as she watched them play in Lincoln Park.
"We need to all band together and do what we can to make sure that we and our family and children are safe," Rolón said.
Right now , there are 84 Delta variant cases in Illinois, according to state health officials. Seventy of those cases are in Chicago.
Concerns are growing because the Delta variant is more transmissible.
New studies, tracked by the World Health Organization, show people who get the Delta variant are more likely to use oxygen, go to intensive care units, even die. And another study shows the Delta variant is 1.23 times more transmissible than the Alpha variant, which makes up more than 6,000 cases in Illinois right now.
"The rate is more than one, which is to say one person is going to spread it to more than one person. It's going to grow and grow and grow," said Dr. Allison Bartlett, a pediatrics infectious disease specialist at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital.
Dr. Bartlett said parents should still focus on outdoor activities, wearing masks, and social distancing, especially since experts are still learning more about the variants.
"Even with this Delta variant, as far as we know, we have not seen a huge change in the number or rate of kids getting seriously ill with Covid," Dr. Bartlett said.
Dr. Bartlett also emphasized that getting vaccinated is critical for all those who are eligible. Parents at the playground are eager to have a vaccine approved for younger children as well.
"It's interesting. I'm just trying to keep up with what's new and developing, and when we're allowed to vaccinate the children," said Shelly Jacques as she watched her two children on the playground.
Rolón hopes her twins will be vaccinated before school starts again.
"The solution is a vaccine, whether it's something they can inject or something they can take orally," she said. "They need to be able to have an option to protect them. There is only so much as parents that we can do in this situation."
A vaccine may provide relief for parents, and kids seem to understand the magnitude as well.
I will be able to "have fun with other kids knowing I won't get the virus," said 8-year-old Julia Jacques.
Dr. Fauci says children 'more likely' to get COVID Delta variant