A Santa parade held in Georgia could have exposed nearly 50 children to the coronavirus after both Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus reported testing positive.
The Long County Board of Commissioners chairman confirmed the positive test results following Thursday's event in a statement posted on the board's website.
"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. Children are in close contact with both other children and adults daily at school, rec functions, and church. Proper CDC exposure guidelines should be followed if your child was exposed, however I do not feel this incident is cause for panic," Chairman Robert Parker said.
Both the Clauses tested positive for COVID-19 the Saturday following the parade, according to NBC News.
Parker pointed out that his own children attended the parade and had their photos taken with Santa.
"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. I want to further emphasize that no children were forced to attend the events and that choice was left solely in the hands their parents," he said.
Parked added that this particular Santa and Mrs. Claus consider the job the "most important of their lives."
"Without them filling these roles locally, I know there are countless underprivileged children who would never have experienced the joy of meeting Santa Claus," he said. "My family and the community are praying for a speedy recovery for the 'Clauses', and are looking forward to many more years of the joy they bring to our county."