Visitor privileges returned to Hawaii’s Kalaupapa after COVID-19 ban

A deserted peninsula on Molokai is the site of a former leper colony.

The Hawaii Department of Health has restored visiting facilities in Kalaupapa to former Hansen’s disease patients and resident staff who were barred from visiting family and friends for more than two years during the epidemic.

The state has imposed much stricter restrictions on the secluded peninsula of Molokai than the rest of the state, forcing some patients to beg for hugs even as the rest of the world grows to accept COVID-19 as a manageable disease. Daily life. Some patients who suffer from age-related memory loss are sometimes confused about living in lockdown from the coronavirus and have previous experiences of being withdrawn from the world as lepers.

But the state recently relaxed its blanket no-visitor policy enacted in March 2020. As of November, Kalaupapa residents can seek approval for sponsored visits from up to six vaccinated guests at a time, the health department said. The total number of visitors to the settlement is limited to 25.


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