PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Twenty-seven family members met in Sunriver for a reunion at the end of last month. They hadn’t seen each other in more than a year, so they were excited to get together. They thought they adhered to all available COVID-19 guidance – they thought they did everything right.
After the reunion though, family members said 16 of the 27 who attended either tested positive or showed symptoms of COVID-19.
Nicole Marienburg is one of those people. She is vaccinated, and she said five adults and three children at the reunion were not. So the possibility of getting COVID and spreading it seemed low.
“I don’t know, my stomach dropped out and I felt very scared,” Marienburg said. “Of course, my son is not vaccinated. My mom was vaccinated, but she’s immunocompromised, so that was really a horrible feeling.”
Marienburg never tested positive, but her parents did. They are vaccinated, but her mother’s immune system is compromised.
“She’s been sick for 26 days, so that’s really hard,” she said. “Luckily, she’s been doing well, but we’re really nervous because that might change.”
Marienburg’s cousin, Emily Evanson, also tested positive.
“It caught everybody by surprise for sure,” Evanson said. “And myself being vaccinated, I was the first person in our family to start demonstrating signs and symptoms, although I thought I had a cold.”
Evanson said her symptoms were mild because of the vaccine, but the six family members who were also vaccinated had more severe symptoms.
Her uncle – who has a compromised immune system – ended up in and out of the hospital. The family doesn’t think he would’ve survived if he hadn’t gotten the vaccine.
They also said they would’ve worn masks around the family members who weren’t vaccinated if those guidelines had been in place at the time.