VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — George Martinez hasn't been able to spend much time with his children and grandchild, but that may change soon due to new CDC guidelines.
"Everybody is tired of not seeing family members," he said.
The Martinez family is very close-knit, including with relatives in other states. But like many families, the pandemic has placed a halt on visits and gatherings, and that has been especially tough for Martinez's mother-in-law.
"She's been very much isolated because of this, but now as we all in my household got vaccinated, she's thrilled," he said.
Martinez is fully vaccinated and he took his mother-in-law to get her second shot at the Virginia Beach Convention Center on Monday. Just hours earlier, the CDC released its anticipated guidance for fully vaccinated people.
The new recommendations allow for fully vaccinated people to visit other vaccinated people indoors without masks or social distancing.
People with both Moderna or Pfizer shots or the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine may "visit with unvaccinated people from one other household indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart if everyone in the other household is at low risk for severe disease."
That means fully vaccinated grandparents, like George Martinez, should feel more at ease about visiting their grandchildren, especially if they are local. Travel is still not recommended, and unvaccinated people at high risk to severe COVID-19 illness should continue to practice all safety precautions.
"Fully vaccinated grandparents can visit indoors with their unvaccinated healthy daughter and her healthy children without wearing masks or physical distancing, provided none of the unvaccinated family members are at risk of severe COVID-19," read the new CDC guidance.
Sophia Brimm, of Norfolk, hasn't seen her parents or grandparents in nearly two years. Since the pandemic began, her sister has opened two restaurants in Texas, and the family has not been able to visit. Her parents live out of state and have not been fully vaccinated, yet. But she has received her shots.
"I think it is going to be truly special," when asked about the moment she'll be able to visit her family face-to-face.
"I think like everyone we are excited to be able to kiss and hug on our family again," she said.
The CDC considers people fully vaccinated two weeks after taking both doses of the Modern or Pfizer vaccine, or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Martinez said his family has closely followed CDC guidance to protect each other from the virus and will continue to do so. However, this is a positive step in seeing them again.
"I think we are looking at it as the light at the end of the tunnel," he said.