Santa Claus is the exception to the rule, as the CDC has urged Americans to stay home this holiday season.

By Rachel DeSantis
November 20, 2020
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Jolly Old St. Nick has new reason to be jolly this holiday season — unlike the rest of the world, he has little to worry about when it comes to COVID-19, says Dr. Anthony Fauci.

That’s right – according to the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Santa Claus is all but immune to coronavirus, meaning he’ll be ready and able to spread holiday cheer as usual this year.

“Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity,” Dr. Fauci told USA Today. “Santa is not going to be spreading any infections to anybody.”

Of course, Santa is the exception to the rule, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that holiday gatherings this year should look a whole lot different so as to keep everyone safe.

Ahead of Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays in the coming months, the CDC said Americans should do their best to have a small dinner with only the people in their households, as gathering with family and friends outside of your bubble can increase the virus’ spread.

Dr. Anthony Fauci
| Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty

Other advice includes organizing outdoor dinners as opposed to indoor, celebrating virtually with family and friends and avoiding travel as much as possible, as people can be exposed in places like airports, bus stations and train stations. Anyone with or exposed to COVID should not attend in-person holiday gatherings, nor should people at an increased risk for severe illness.

While the Santa up in the North Pole may be exempt to coronavirus, the Santas setting up shop in malls across the country are not, and many have had to get creative in order to bring the holiday spirit.

At least 134 of Brookfield Properties’ 150 malls are hosting Santa this year, though families must make appointments and can only greet him from a distance, The New York Times reported.

“We all check most of the boxes. We are almost all elderly, we are almost all obese and almost all have some kind of health condition. Diabetes, breathing problems, you name it,” Stephen Arnold, a 70-year-old professional Santa, told the Times. “So we all have to exercise an abundance of caution. And to do that, we are joining with our previous clients and trying to get creative.”

Arnold said he has three engagements scheduled this season, and plans to sit in a structure shaped like a snow globe, an oversized sleigh and a fire truck to keep kids at bay.

Other places, like Macy’s, are hosting Santa Claus virtually, with special online visits. This year will mark the first time since 1861 that the famed department store does not host Santa Claus, according to the Times.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there have been at least 11.8 million cases and 252,373 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the United States, the Times reported.

This story originally appeared on people.com

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