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A Santa and Mrs. Claus tested positive for COVID-19 days after a Christmas parade in Georgia — possibly exposing dozens of children to the virus, local officials said Monday.
Long County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robert Parker said the Claus couple learned they had the virus on Saturday, two days after the annual festivities in Ludowici.
Roughly 50 kids posed for pictures with St. Nick and his spouse during the event, the chairman said.
Neither Santa nor the missus, whose real names weren’t provided, had been experiencing coronavirus symptoms at the time.
“I have personally known both ‘Santa’ and ‘Mrs. Claus’ my entire life and I can assure everyone that they would have never knowingly done anything to place any children in danger,” Parker said.
Regardless of the possible exposure, Parker said he and other officials stood by the decision “to move forward with these holiday traditions, and to bring some sense of normalcy to these trying times.”
“My children both had their picture made with Santa, and their smiles were bigger than any day when they head off to school, where the same risk of exposure exist,” he said.
The Long County school system advised student who came in contact with the couple to stay home until after the holiday break, local outlet WJCL reported.
This comes after a Santa Claus’ visit at a nursing home in Belgium left at least 75 people infected with COVID-19.