You might want to leave some Purell out with the milk and cookies and go to bed wearing your mask on Christmas Eve, because Santa's got COVID. Well, not the real Santa, but the actor who played him at two holiday events in Ludowici, Ga., as well as the woman who played Mrs. Claus, WSAV reports. The two portrayed the season's most famous couple at the Long County Chamber of Commerce's annual Christmas parade and tree lighting, after which children could pose for a pic with St. Nick. In a statement, Robert Parker, head of the Long County Board of Commissioners, calls the events "well attended" and notes that 50 or so kids had their photos taken with Santa. Parker adds that the Clauses "were not displaying any symptoms at the time of the event" on Thursday.
The unidentified actors took a COVID-19 test Saturday, which is when they received their positive diagnosis. Parker defends the chamber's decision to host this year's event, noting various public officials attended. "We still stand by the decision of the Chamber to move forward with these holiday traditions, and to bring some sense of normalcy to these trying times," he says. He also says that kids had the same risk of exposure taking photos with Santa as they do going to school, and that he knows the Claus impersonators in question and "they would have never knowingly done anything to place any children in danger." Sick Santas are making the rounds overseas as well: The New York Post reports at least 75 people in Belgium got the coronavirus after a visit from Santa earlier this month. (Read more Santa Claus stories.)