STARS won’t be bringing Santa to visit QEII this Christmas

Santa delivers a teddy bear to a child in the QEII hospital after arriving via STARS helicopter, December 2019. (Michael Lumsden, MyGrandePrairieNow.com Staff)
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Out of concerns for his safety, as well as that of the staff and patients at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, STARS will not be bringing Santa to visit this Christmas.

Provincial Director STARS Air Ambulance for Northern and Central Alberta Jon Gogan says in dialogue with Santa, STARS and the jolly red man need to keep everybody safe, especially considering the number of people who pass through the STARS helicopters.

“So many people are depending on him to come and be part of what is going to be one of the most memorable Christmases you can really have.”

“We just want to make sure that Santa stays away from our helicopter because we’re constantly cleaning it, we’re carrying a lot of people and helping a lot of people who have COVID-19,” he says.

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Gogan says Santa and his elves will be socially distancing, just like everyone else should be so that he is healthy and able to deliver presents to kids around the world come Christmas eve.

STARS will also not be delivering any of the usual gifts Santa brings to the hospital this year. Gogan says the team is doing its best to keep anything that shouldn’t be introduced to the hospital, out of the facility.

“The hospital is in complete lockdown and they’re not even allowing flowers in right now. It’s just a matter of making sure we abide by the rules and regulations.”

“Hopefully it’s a much different Christmas next year and we are absolutely looking forward to dropping Santa off at the QEII helipad in 2021,” he says.

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