LOS ANGELES - Santa Claus will spread joy and happiness — not COVID-19 — this holiday season.
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Santa Claus is coming to town, and thankfully, has “innate immunity” to the novel coronavirus infection.
"Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity," Fauci told USA TODAY this week.
The jolly news comes as a relief, as children worry that Old Saint Nick may not be able to deliver presents safely on Christmas Eve.
“Santa is not going to be spreading any infections to anybody," Fauci said.
Children can also rest easy knowing that the North American Aerospace Defense Command has announced that NORAD will track Santa’s journey on Dec. 24, just as it has done for 65 years.
But, according to the Associated Press, there will be some changes: Not every child will be able to get through to a volunteer at NORAD’s call center to check on Santa’s whereabouts, as they have in years before.
The number of volunteers will be drastically cut from 150 volunteers to fewer than 10 people per shift.
“We understand this is a time-honored tradition, and we know undoubtedly there is going to be some disappointment,” said NORAD spokesman Preston Schlachter told the Associated Press. “But we’re trying to keep it safe for everyone involved.”
Due to the pandemic, Santa has had to adjust his plans this holiday season.
Kids have been asked to refrain from sitting on the jolly man’s knee during his appearances and some malls have asked visitors to remain behind plexiglass while telling Santa what they would like for Christmas.
It’s all in an effort to keep Santa safe.
And Santa, in turn, will likely make extra efforts to keep kids safe this holiday season too, by wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing during his flight around the world.