No home visits in area before Christmas Eve for Santa

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A popular program by a local sorority which helps arrange home visits from Santa Claus to local children won’t be held this season.

According to an announcement by the Delta Omega sorority which arranges for such visits in the Rome area, the Santa project will not be held this season.

“(The) Delta Omega sorority is so grateful to the Rome community for supporting the Santa project. Due to the covid pandemic, the Santa project will not be held this season. We hope everyone stays safe and healthy, and we look forward to continuing the Santa project in the future,” the group’s statement read.

While the pre-Christmas Eve visits have been suspended, St. Nick should still be able to make his Christmas Eve deliveries, according to federal officials.

Good news on immunity front
for St. Nick

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, has some good news for youngsters worried about Santa’s health and whether or not he will still make his rounds in the wake of the coronavirus.

According to published reports, Fauci says Santa has “good innate immunity.”

Although Santa, because he is older and overweight, would at first glance appear to be at higher risk of developing severe disease from COVID-19, Fauci is telling kids not to worry, adding that Santa is taking precautions and with his residence at the North Pole can easily engage in social distancing.

NORAD ready to help
Santa’s critical mission

Just like Santa, the men and women of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), of which the Eastern Air Defense Sector at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park is a part, will be ready to do their part on Christmas Eve in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NORAD, which is responsible for protecting the skies over the United States and Canada, says it will be ready to follow Santa on Christmas Eve as he flies from the North Pole to visit children’s houses all over the world.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of NORAD’s help to St. Nick, dating back to a typo in a 1955 Sears ad and an Air Force officer, now known as Santa Colonel.

Families can follow Santa’s Christmas Eve trip online by using NORAD’s Santa Tracker website at https://www.noradsanta.org. The interactive website show’s St. Nick’s progress in his global efforts, sharing information about holiday customs across the world.

Typically, hundreds of volunteers also staff a special call center at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., to update children who call 1-877-Hi-NORAD from all over the world on Santa’s location. This year, there will also be a smaller number of volunteers answering calls to reduce the potential risk of spreading the virus, officials said, but they will do their best to complement the Jolly Old Elf’s critical mission.

“NORAD is committed to tracking Santa while keeping our military, their families, and our dedicated call center volunteers safe,” NORAD said in a news release. People who can’t get through to a volunteer will hear a recorded message with Santa’s latest location.

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