'Santa Claus' tests positive for Covid-19 after photo session with 50 children

Some children attended school after the photo session.

Matthias Ang | December 16, 2020, 04:01 PM

A couple from the U.S. state of Georgia have tested positive for Covid-19, three days after they hosted an outdoor photo shoot with about 50 children, dressed as Santa Claus and his wife, the New York Times reported.

Couple had worn masks but children did not

The chairman of the Long County Board of Commissioners, Robert Parker, added that while the couple had worn masks for the event on Dec. 10, many of the children who posed for photos with them did not.

Parker's own children were also in attendance at the event, according to a Facebook post on the board's page.

The couple then developed Covid-19 symptoms afterwards, were tested on Dec. 12, Saturday, and informed county officials that they had tested positive on Dec. 13.

The photo session had been organised by Long County Chamber of Commerce at Ludowici, Georgia.

Some children attended school after the photo session

In the meantime, county officials urged any child who was in contact with the couple to quarantine for 14 days and adhere to guidelines by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York Times further reported.

However, Parker was also quoted saying some of the children attended school the day after the photo session, and that the county had not recommended testing for them. He did not know if contact tracing was being conducted.

Stands by the decision of moving forward with "holiday traditions"

Parker added that he believed he spoke for the majority of public officials in standing by the Chamber's decision to move forward with such "holiday traditions" as an attempt to bring about a sense of normalcy.

He further said in the Facebook post:

"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 emphasise that no children were forced to attend the events and that choice was left solely in the hands their parents."

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