Santa Claus has been cleared by a Montreal hospital to resume his December 24 and 25 deliveries.
According to the CHUM (Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal), jolly old Saint Nick has tested negative for COVID-19.
The big guy came in to get tested this week at the Montreal hospital, according to a press release, where he posed for pictures to prove that he’s healthy and jolly.
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The CHUM says upon arrival, the bearded man “took the time to disinfect his hands” and urged that “it’s important to continue taking all precautions if I want to be able to bring gifts to small children this year.”
The CHUM says children were worried about Santa’s health amid the pandemic and were wondering if it’s okay to hug him and give him cookies.
Ariane Delisle, the CHUM’s executive advisor for organizing care and work (and mother of three), prompted the hospital to create a fun event to prove that Santa was indeed healthy.
Mr. Claus took the opportunity to tell the CHUM how kids can help him make his gift-giving tour safe this year. Recommendations include frequent hand-washing, mask-wearing, and limiting physical activity to help slow the disease’s transmission.
“We welcomed the idea with enthusiasm,” explains CHUM Director Irène Marcheterre. “We believe that such initiatives can make a difference in these difficult times. The event took shape quickly, combining the magic of Christmas with more down to earth considerations of respect for instructions.”
The CHUM says Santa Claus wore his mask throughout the year, respected public health guidelines, and was thrilled to learn of his negative COVID-19 results.
“I’m really, really happy,” said Santa, “because this year, I’m going to be able to spread the magic of Christmas, and not COVID!”
Listen to Santa Claus, kids.