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Families and individuals are posting on Facebook when testing positive

DPS police cruiser
Community steps up with its own version of ‘contact tracing’

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Some families are stepping forward to assist the community and the government tackle community spread of the virus by identifying family members who have tested positive for the virus on social media.

Members of the community believe that identifying a family member who tests positive with COVID — or even naming themselves — will help people determine whether or not they’ve been in contact with a person infected with the virus.

Yesterday morning, Rep. Lua’itaua Gene Pan posted on his Facebook wall that his mother tested positive and she is now in home isolation.

“OK My Mom was tested positive. She is home Quarantined. We went to the hospital last night and she was released. I tested negative. Whoever got in contact with her in the last few days needs to go [get] tested. I feel that it would only be the responsible thing to do and to let you know. Stay safe.”

Another woman posted on social media this week that her father tested positive after being exposed by a co-employee. She said she wanted to reveal the truth because their neighbors are trying to figure out why police officers have been surrounding their house since Sunday.

“FYI, my Dad tested positive yesterday [last Saturday] and he’s in stable condition. He is in home isolation and these police officers are roaming outside of our house which make things more worse because our neighbors are thinking that we’re criminal or some sort of drug dealers,” the woman posted on her Facebook page.

She continued, “If you’re not sure whether you’re infected or not, please visit the DOH test sites to get tested.”

In a telephone conversation with Samoa News, the woman explained that she wanted people who had been in contact with her father to go and get tested to make sure they’re not infected.

She said her father is doing well.

“I want to help the government and our leaders in dealing with the virus by identifying my family because I do care about others like I care about my father and my family,” she said.

Another man also publicly posted on social media that his wife had tested positive last Thursday and she’s in home quarantine.

“This is not something to be ashamed of. FYI, my wife tested positive and she is now in home quarantine. She’s fine and I’m now serving her for the next 14 days of her home isolation.”

When contacted by Samoa News, the man stressed that he wanted to go public with his family’s situation because he cares about other families like he cares about his family.

“We should do this to help stop the virus from spreading to other people by identifying ourselves,” he said.

“Nobody is going to kill me if I tell the truth,” he said. “If everyone has this same attitude and mindset like myself and other people, I believe the community spread of this virus will quickly come to a stop soon.”

People believe that this is an example of contact tracing by the public itself.

A health worker said this is the type of attitude people need to have instead of posting negative comments and complaints about the government and the Task Force.

“This is not the time to point a finger or to lay accusations, this is the time of team work and caring for one another.

“Our leaders and all the health workers are working so hard in an effort to cure this virus and when people pour out their positive thoughts, our task will be easy and our community will be safe because we’re working together as one family,” the health worker said.