The rise in cases means the holiday tradition of meeting with Santa will be more challenging this year.
But now several online services have popped up giving kids the chance to talk to Santa Claus without leaving home.
Parents can tell Santa about their children beforehand, making online visits more personal than spending 30 seconds with him at the mall.
“It’s really about taking care of one another. And it’s giving selflessly to others without expecting anything in return,” an online Santa Claus said.
Many online services create custom visits based on children’s special needs, languages and ethnicities.
“You could choose a black Santa. You can choose a signing Santa it, you can choose a Spanish speaking,” said Rocell Viniard of Brookfield Properties and JingleRing.com.
Virtual visits with Santa cost anywhere from $20 for a recorded video to $65 for a live video chat.