HOBART (NBC26) — The residents at Emerald Bay are finally beating COVID-19, literally.
About 85 residents received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Monday, and they swung bats at virus-shaped piñatas to celebrate the occasion. The immunizations mark a huge step to reconnect with their loved ones.
“I haven’t seen most of them for quite a while because we’ve been quarantined so much that they couldn’t come in and I couldn’t leave," said Gerald Tilot. "The ones I did visit were usually window visits where I’m sitting on one side of the glass and they’re sitting on the other side of the glass.”
"I can't wait," said Bonnie DeGrave. "I've cried a lot."
"It gets pretty lonesome when TV is the only thing that can entertain you," said Gert Ryba.
Once everyone at emerald bay has been vaccinated, the community will be able to lift the current restrictions and re-open visitation. Residents will be able to have two designated family members come into their apartments.
"It's definitely a great feeling," said Allie Bloom, Community Relations Director for Emerald Bay. "To be able to allow families to come in, and talking with residents about how long it's been since they've hugged their loved ones and how long it's been since they've been able to see them, so we're very excited to be able to get them back in here."
Residents are thankful they won't have to be so worried about getting COVID-19.
"I definitely don't want to get it, said Pat Freele. "I'm happy to get the shot, I really am."
More than anything though, they can't wait to see family members they haven't seen in months.
"You can't give big enough hugs to see them back again," said Gert Ryba. "It's going to feel great."