Georgia Santa Clauses may have exposed up to 50 children to coronavirus
Ludowici, Georgia - A Santa parade in Georgia on December 10 has possibly exposed up to 50 children to the coronavirus after they took pictures with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.
Long County Board of Commissioners chairman Robert D. Parker confirmed Santa and Mrs. Claus tested positive for Covid-19 following the county chamber of commerce's December 10 Christmas parade in Ludowici, southwest of Savannah.
"While this is cause for concern, I feel that it is important to note that exposures happen every day as we go about our day to day lives, often without any knowledge," Parker wrote in a statement posted Monday on the Board's website and Facebook, downplaying the risk of infection.
He added that about 50 children had taken pictures with the Clauses, but insisted they were not showing any symptoms at the time of the event.
"Proper CDC exposure guidelines should be followed if your child was exposed, however I do not feel this incident is cause for panic," Parker wrote.
Chairman of Long County Board doesn't blame Santa and Mrs. Claus
Long County Schools have advised students who went to see the Clauses to stay at home through the holidays, and parents may now switch to online learning, according to the local ABC affiliate WJCL.
Meanwhile, Parker insisted it was the right decision to go through with the parade, despite growing numbers of coronavirus related hospitalizations and deaths state-and nationwide.
"My children both had their picture made with Santa," he wrote, "and their smiles were bigger than any day when they head off to school, where the same risk of exposure exist."
He didn't blame the individuals who portrayed Santa and Mrs. Claus, saying that he has known both of them his "entire life" and "they would have never knowingly done anything to place any children in danger."
Georgia's health department reported more than 2,600 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, along with 52 more deaths, and a record number of hospitalizations. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Georgia has reported 9,302 deaths and 488,338 confirmed cases of the virus.
Cover photo: imago images / Political-Moments