CORONAVIRUS

Utah Couple Finally Meets Great-Great-Grandson After Getting Vaccinated

Feb 1, 2021, 10:31 PM | Updated: Feb 2, 2021, 5:35 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah’s COVID-19 numbers are trending down as more people are getting vaccinated, but health experts are advising Utahns to not let their guard down just yet.

Three months ago Alex Moderno gave birth to a healthy baby boy. As a nurse herself, she worked on the COVID-19 floor while pregnant and took every safety precaution seriously.

She was relieved when her mother was able to be in the hospital room with her and her husband during the delivery. But, aside from that, time with family — especially with relatives over 70 years old — has been extremely limited.

And despite the family’s efforts to stay clear of COVID-19, Moderno and her husband, baby, parents and siblings all contracted COVID-19 at the beginning of January.

None had severe symptoms, but they didn’t take chances with their great-grandparents, who are both in their 90s. Then, things changed. Moderno’s great-grandparents received doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and the family met over the weekend to celebrate birthdays and an anniversary.

It was a day a long time in the making.

“We were finally able to go see my grandma and grandpa,” Moderno said. “Since November we hadn’t seen them, all of December or Christmas or anything. We were able to go to take Tommy to see them.”

And for the first time in a year, they were able to do that without the worry of spreading the virus.

“It was so nice because we were able to hug them and get close to them and hold their hands and talk to them and they’re able to hang out with Tommy,” Moderno said.

While the reunion couldn’t have come sooner, officials with the Utah Department of Health maintained their message of social distancing, wearing masks and hand washing. Still, they are encouraged by the drop in numbers of positive cases and the positivity rate itself, which is now in the teens — about half what it was just last month.

“It is truly amazing to see how much progress has been made,” said Jenny Johnson with the Utah Department of Health. “There’s a lot to be hopeful for after a long, long year.”

However, with new coronavirus variants popping up in Utah and across the country, Johnson said now is not the time to loosen diligence. She said it would take about an 80% vaccination rate to have herd immunity, which could take months to achieve.

Until then, the pandemic is still alive and well.

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Utah Couple Finally Meets Great-Great-Grandson After Getting Vaccinated