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‘It’s a relief’: CDC guidelines on maskless gatherings bring hope to family in Muhlenberg Co.

Updated: Mar. 14, 2021 at 11:02 PM CDT
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GREENVILLE, Ky. (WFIE) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines last week for people who are fully vaccinated, stating these individuals can safely meet in small groups without masks or social distancing, even if others at the gathering have not been vaccinated yet.

[READ MORE: New CDC guidelines allow maskless gatherings for vaccinated people]

Not only was the coronavirus a serious health factor this past year for Kelly Melton, but she was also battling cancer.

This made her even more at risk for serious health complications if she contracted the virus.

Melton then got orders from her doctor to avoid touching others, which meant even avoiding hugging her own family.

So for the first time in a year, this all changed on Sunday.

“It is a relief,” Melton said. “It’s a relief - we can get back to being us again.”

Although different, Melton and her son still made visits possible throughout the year.

“I would sit in her yard on days where it was really cold,” Garris Stroud, Melton’s son said. “I would sit in my car with the heat on, and so today marks a new chapter where we can finally be together again because we’ve both been vaccinated.”

Thankful for the visits, Melton says there was still one thing she had been missing.

“We’re huggers and we’ve missed that,” Melton said.

After spending 365 days without hugging her son due to an abundance of caution, Sunday was certainly a highly anticipated moment.

“I wasn’t going to take a chance to die with this virus,” Melton said. “Staying healthy was critical for my future. So as bad as it was to have those rules, I didn’t have a choice.”

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