LUDOWICI, Ga. (WSAV) – A visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at an annual Christmas parade in Georgia possibly exposed some 50 children to COVID-19.

Long County Commissioners Chairman Robert Parker said Santa and Mrs. Claus, whose real names weren’t given, tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, two days after the Long County Chamber of Commerce’s parade, followed by a tree-lighting ceremony and a chance to take a picture with Santa.

Parker said they weren’t displaying symptoms at the time of the event,

“While this event was not put on by the City of Ludowici or the Long County Board of Commissioners, it was well-attended by our public officials, and I believe I speak for the majority of them in saying that we still stand by the decision of the Chamber to move forward with these holiday traditions and to bring some sense of normalcy to these trying times,” said Parker, who added that his own children took part in the photo op.

The Long County School District has asked parents to keep their children home until after the new year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends those who have been exposed to a person who has tested positive for coronavirus to stay home for 14 days and monitor symptoms.

Parker said he has known Santa and Mrs. Claus his whole life and that “they would have never knowingly done anything to place any children in danger.”

He added: “They have both filled these roles for many years, and bringing joy to children during the holidays is one of the most important parts of their lives.”