A ‘maskless’ Santa has tested positive for coronavirus 48 hours after a festive photoshoot with 50 children.
Kids were given the chance to sit on Father Christmas’s knee as they posed for pictures at an annual Christmas parade in Ludowici, Georgia, on 10 December.
Two days after the event, a couple who had dressed as Mr and Mrs Claus were confirmed Covid-19 positive.
The pair were not showing any symptoms at the event which took place on a day Georgia hit a record for new virus cases with 6,126 new infections.
Pictures from the event appear to show the man dressed as Saint Nick not wearing a mask, The Independent reports.
Chairperson Robert D Parker of the Long County Board of Commissioners, which arranged the event, said he has been sent ‘hate mail’ from across the US after the incident, although local outrage has been ‘minimal’.
Mr Parker said the couple ‘would have never knowingly done anything to place any children in danger’.
A notice on the Long County Board of Commissioners website, read: ‘I have personally known both “Santa’ and ‘Mrs Claus” my entire life. They’re good folks. They would never knowingly put anybody in danger.
‘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.’
Officials have advised children who attended the event to quarantine for 14 days and follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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