Malls alter Santa visits during pandemic to protect old Saint Nick

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — One of the biggest changes to Christmastime celebrations this year has been the annual stop by the local mall to pay a visit to Santa Claus.

Most malls and retailers have altered their plans for Santa visits to accommodate social distancing.

That means children are still sharing their wish lists with Santa and snapping a photo, but from a safe distance and by appointment only.

Liz Levi, Director of Quality and Patient Safety for OSF HealthCare said the safety guidelines protect everyone involved, especially jolly Saint Nick himself.

“The biggest risk for kids visiting Santa this year is that we know that Santa falls into that high risk category. So, we don’t know how old Santa is, but he’s certainly over 65 so he’s a little higher risk there.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reassured children on Saturday he had administered the coronavirus vaccine to Santa Claus, saying, “I took a trip up there to the North Pole. I went there and I vaccinated Santa Claus myself. I measured his level of immunity and he is good to go!” 

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