COVID-19 Outbreak in Belgian Care Home Likely Caused by 'Santa Claus,' Media Says

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At least 75 people are infected at the care home, including 14 staff, after a visit from a Father Christmas impersonator, as the authorities try to tackle the outbreak.

Dozens of residents at the Hemelrijck residential home in Mol, Belgium have tested positive for COVID-19 – and they caught it from a Father Christmas impersonator hired to bring festive cheer, reports the Daily Star.

According to the newspaper, the authorities rushed to test residents of the care home after the Christmas visitor fell ill and tested positive for the coronavirus himself.

"It has been a very black day for the care home," said Mol Mayor Wim Caeyers, noting that the visit was "made with the best intent, but it went wrong." "It is a very great mental strain to bear for the man that played Saint Nicholas, as well as for the organisers and the staff."

A total of 75 people at the care home, including 14 staff have reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus, with Caeyers saying it’s going to be "all hands on deck during the coming week" to get the outbreak under control.

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