A photo opportunity with Mr. and Mrs. Claus may have exposed nearly 50 kids in Georgia to COVID-19.
The Long County Chamber of Commerce held its annual Christmas parade Thursday in Ludowici, Georgia, over 50 miles southwest of Savannah. As usual, the parade featured an event that gave children the chance to sit on a jolly Santa’s lap for a photo.
Soon after the event, both Clauses tested positive for COVID-19, potentially exposing the 50 children who posed for photos — and their families — to the coronavirus.
In a notice posted on the Long County Board of Commissioners website Monday, board chairman Robert D. Parker confirmed the positive tests and said neither Santa or Mrs. Claus showed any symptoms at 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,” he wrote.
He doubled down on his belief that the event should have proceeded, despite the pandemic reaching record cases and deaths nationwide.
Both of his children, he said, took photos with Santa.
“It was well attended by our public officials and I believe I speak for the majority of them in saying that we still stand by the decision … to move forward with these holiday traditions, and to bring some sense of normalcy to these trying times.”
The day the parade was staged, the state hit a record for new cases at 6,126, WSB-TV in Atlanta reported.
The county school district has since advised children who attended the event to stay home until school restarts in the new year, reported WJCL-TV in Savannah.
Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote.
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