Twenty-six residents of a Belgian retirement home have died of COVID-19 after they were infected by a visiting Santa Claus.
After the faux Saint Nick dropped by the Hemelrick Retirement Home earlier this month, a number of residents began experiencing symptoms, a rep for the facility says. However, the retirement home claimed that he took all necessary safety precautions while he was visiting...
“He always kept a distance from the residents, stayed nowhere longer than a few minutes and wore a mouth mask. The residents also wore a mouth mask,” the municipality said.
But before long, 85 residents and 40 staffers had contracted the virus -- leading to the 26 deaths, the rep adds.
That's when photos from the event started emerging online -- which showed multiple residents interacting with 'Santa' -- but with no masks in sight.
“We have received wrong information from the management,” the second statement from the municipality said. “We deeply regret that. After looking at several photos, we have to conclude that this goes much further than an error. Rather, it is a completely irresponsible event. We would never have approved this.”
Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 11,066 residents of Belgian retirement homes have died of COVID-19, health officials report.
Read more on The Hill.