"Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity," Dr. Fauci told USA Today.
That's welcome news for children who are already experiencing a holiday season unlike any other. Over 254,000 Americans have died because of COVID-19. If children are lucky enough to have escaped losing a loved one, they're still likely participating in virtual schooling and social distancing.
This year, the CDC is recommending that holiday gatherings be limited to just the family members within individual households to curb the spread of COVID-19.
But what about Santa? St. Nick is known for visiting every boy and girl across the world on Christmas Eve. Could he be an unknowing super-spreader?
"Santa is not going to be spreading any infections to anybody," Dr. Fauci doubled down.
So, if your little one is concerned about Santa, just tell them the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says Santa Claus will be just fine.
And if your holiday traditions include tracking Santa's Christmas Eve journey with NORAD, we have more good news. The defense agency says their Santa tracker program is still on schedule and they'll be ready to carry out their important mission on December 24th.
Guess who's getting ready for the big day in less than 5 weeks! The countdown officially begins Dec.1… https://t.co/PHT74cnwUp— NORAD Tracks Santa (@NoradSanta) 1605895556.0
This year, families will be able to follow Santa's journey through the NORAD Tracks Santa website, social media channels, and a new mobile app. One big change is that the NORAD Tracks Santa call center will be staffed by fewer volunteers. It's all to keep those volunteers safe and in line with social distancing protocol.
Families will still be able to call the toll-free number, 1-877-Hi-NORAD, on Christmas Eve. If callers don't reach a live volunteer, they'll hear a recorded message on Santa's location instead.
This holiday season will look and feel different, for a variety of reasons. We're grateful for Dr. Fauci's kind words and the work happening at NORAD that will help our kids find a little holiday cheer during trying times.