The man tested positive for the disease after playing the role of Santa Claus over the vacation-themed vacation last week, said Robert D. Parker, chairman of the Long County Commissioners Council.
Ms. Claus, who was available for visits with children at the same event, also received positive COVID-19 test results, Parker wrote in a Facebook message on Monday.
“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,” the post said. “They have both filled these roles for many years, and bringing joy to children during the holidays is one of the most important parts of their lives.”
Authorities say the couple did not feel bad participating in Thursday’s activities following the annual Christmas parade. The Long County Chamber of Commerce event was held in Ludowici, a small town about 90 km southwest of Savannah.
“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 of the Chamber to move forward with these holiday traditions, and to bring some sense of normalcy to these trying times,” Parker wrote in his Facebook post, which doesn’t mention whether the attendees or the Claus characters were wearing masks.
The president said families with children who may have been exposed to the disease should follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including staying at home and treating fever and other symptoms of the coronavirus.
Parker said he doesn’t “feel this incident is cause for panic” and that children also can be exposed to the virus in church and school settings.
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