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'If it were a couple weeks later, he could have been spreading it at school' | Union Co. family gets COVID-19, urges masks in schools

The two parents were vaccinated and say things could have been a lot worse if they weren't. Then, their 6-year-old got the virus right before school is set to start.

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Two Union County parents are the latest breakthrough cases of COVID-19. They still encourage everyone to get vaccinated and are asking school leaders to require masks.

Kara Horiatis and her husband were vaccinated with their first dose in late March. They received their second dose two weeks later.

Months after, they contracted COVID-19. Doctors call them breakthrough cases. They're rare in comparison to the total amount of people who've been vaccinated and have not gotten COVID-19, according to data. 

RELATED: VERIFY: Delta variant does not require a different mask than before

"I had that feeling in your chest, like really tight," Horiatis said. 

She wanted to rule out COVID-19, but when she got her results back, she was positive for the virus. 

"I'm still so grateful for the vaccines," she said. "If we didn't have those, I mean it could be a whole other story right now. We might not be getting better. We might be going to the hospital."

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She and her husband's symptoms were much more mild compared to those who are unvaccinated and battled the virus. 

"The vaccine, you know, is a security blanket," she said. 

It wasn't long before their 6-year-old son Jackson, who is too young to be vaccinated, also tested positive for COVID-19. 

"We're all positive and we're all quarantining," Horiatis said.

Jackson is on the mend after a fever and headache for a couple of days. However, his mom can't help but think about a troubling scenario that could have happened. 

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"If it were a couple weeks later, he could have been spreading it at school," she feared. 

She has that concern and thought because her son's public school in Union County is not requiring masks for anyone on campus. The Union County School Board voted unanimously to keep masks optional for everyone, no matter vaccination status. 

RELATED: Schools in Charlotte-area district make masks adjustments for upcoming school year for students, staff

"I don't understand why we would be reactionary. Why wouldn't we just take the precautions ahead of time to avoid the infections in the first place," Horiatis said. "We just want a safe environment for our child. I think that's what every parent wants."

Contact Hunter Sáenz at hsaenz@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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