COVID-19 is changing how NORAD tracks Santa, but the mission continues

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By Connecting Vets

NORAD is busy preparing for its annual tradition of tracking Santa's journey delivering gifts around the world.

Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the NORAD Tracks Santa program is on schedule and NORAD will track Santa on December 24, as it has done every year since 1955, according to a release.

However, "some adjustments are being made to safely carry out our special mission of tracking Santa," said the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

The NORAD Tracks Santa website, social media pages, a new mobile app and partner platforms will again be an important part of the program allowing children around the world to track Santa.

The NORAD Tracks Santa call center is being adapted due to ongoing public health concerns during an increase in COVID-19 cases. This year, only a small number of volunteers will be answering the NORAD Tracks Santa toll-free number, 1-877-Hi-NORAD, on December 24. Callers who cannot reach one of these volunteers will receive a recorded update on Santa's current location.

“While NORAD understands the call center is an important tradition for many families around the world, we reduce the health risks posed by attempting to conduct a large indoor, in-person, call center during the pandemic,” a release reads. “NORAD is committed to tracking Santa while keeping our military, their families, and our dedicated call center volunteers safe.”

Santa trackers can click here or use new mobile apps to get up-to-the-minute Santa statistics. These apps will soon be available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. Fans can also track Santa with a variety of other NORAD Tracks Santa partners, including OnStar and Amazon Alexa.

The online and social media experience will go live on December 1 and will provide information and games to get everyone ready for the big night.

NORAD Tracks Santa will also provide daily updates on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms.

Reach Julia LeDoux at Julia@connectingvets.com
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