The coronavirus has now spread to every county in the United States, including the smallest, remote island of Hawaii with less than 100 inhabitants, which was home to a leper colony.
Kalavao County, so far away that it receives barge deliveries once a year, registered its first case of COVID-19 in December, almost a year after the deadly error occurred in the United States in Snohomish County near Seattle, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The small enclave on Molokai Island was created in 1865 for patients with leprosy – now known as Hansen’s disease – who will be exiled there for life, according to the newspaper, which reviews data from John Hopkins and individual states for its report.
Hawaiian health officials had taken steps to close the settlement after watching the disease pass through U.S. nursing homes early last year ̵
Some of the five have serious underlying health conditions that put them at high risk of severe complications or death from coronavirus, Hawaii health official Glenn Wasserman said.
But the secluded county finally recorded its first case after a resident returned from a trip to Honolulu after receiving a COVID-19 test. The man, who was asymptomatic, was then positive, the newspaper reported.
However, the virus did not spread, as the man and three close contacts in the same flight were immediately quarantined.
“For me, this man was a hero because they were honest and reported on it and followed the quarantine rules when they returned out of town,” Wasserman told the newspaper.