By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported earlier this week: In American Samoa, from 3 January 2020 to 5:20pm CEST, 17 September 2021, there have been 0 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 0 deaths, reported to WHO. 

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

No COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic!

Well, that all changed this week as the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed a positive case on Friday. The positive case was identified among the 43 travelers quarantined at Sadie’s by the Sea hotel in Utulei, while no positive cases were identified after testing 217 travelers quarantine at Tradewinds Hotel in Ottoville/Tafuna, said DoH.

The traveler, asymptomatic and fully vaccinated, was transported to an isolation facility at the Department of Health’s Alternative Care Facility.

According to the Acting Gov. Talauega Eleasalo V. Ale, the traveler tested negative on all three required tests prior to boarding the flight to American Samoa.

“It’s very hard for us to pinpoint where” the traveler contracted the virus including in the US, but DoH has protocols in place for contact-tracing, said Health Department’s epidemiologist Dr. Aifili Tufa.

According to Samoa News, the infected traveler flew in on Monday, the first day of newly resumed commercial flights from Honolulu to Pago Pago. The route had been suspended since March 2020.

American Samoa remains in Code blue.  According to Talauega, this means COVID-free.

However, all flights have been suspended until further notice.

“The discovery of this positive case during quarantine highlights the importance of why our process is crucial to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” American Samoan Gov. Lemanu Mauga said in the statement.

Governor’s Press Conference