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Community Briefs


There is another confirmed Zika virus case for American Samoa, based on data released last week by the Department of Health (DoH).

DoH reported last month that as of Sept. 22, there were 52 cases of the Zika virus confirmed through laboratory testing. Of the 52 confirmed cases, 20 of them are pregnant women. Additionally there were 862 suspected Zika cases in the territory.

In the latest data, DoH says that as of Oct. 5, there are 883 Zika suspected cases and 53 confirmed through laboratory test. Of the confirmed cases 21 are pregnant women.


More US families have voiced their opposition to new proposed rules by the US State Department regarding inter-country adoptions, including families either going through the adoption process or awaiting to start the process for children from Samoa. The most recent rounds of comments pertaining to adoption from Samoa were submitted early this week.

Says one family’s comment submitted to the State Department, “My brother-in-law and sister-in -law are in the middle of the adoption process for Samoa. They've gone through every process and now just waiting to get matched.”

According to the commenter, if the proposed rules are final, “Samoa can't afford to participate in the adoption process leaving my relatives to start all over and out of all the money they have given thus far.

“Most importantly this impacts all the children from Samoa looking for a good home and better lives. Countries like Samoa depend on the financial support in supporting these children until they go to their new home,” the commenter says. “Please help the children in the countries like Samoa by stopping this action so we can continue to find a better life for these children.”

In another comment, from a couple, they say they have started the international adoption process from Samoa. “We've been in this process almost two years. We oppose the country-specific authorization provision of these proposed regulations,” the couple says.

“We are already working with a Hague Accredited Adoption Service Provider who has been approved by Samoa to provide adoption services. We fear what could happen to our case should our agency not be selected and not able to appeal this decision,” they say. “Our choices of adoption providers and country of adoption took much thought and prayer. These regulations could threaten our entire adoption journey. We very strongly oppose these regulations.”


Without a US carrier operating American Samoa’s domestic flights, the US Department of Transportation yesterday granted another 30-day cabotage exemption Polynesian Airlines to operate flights between Tutuila and the Manu’a island group. 

The current 30-day exemption expires Oct. 20th and the new 30-day waiver is effective Oct. 21 to Nov. 19, according to the USDOT decision, which also states the federal agency is deferring a decision on Polynesian’s request for longer exemption beyond Nov. 19.

Polynesian’s flights to Manu’a are: to Fitiuta Airport on Ta’u Island — four times a week — and Ofu Airport, on Ofu Island — once a week.

Polynesian along with Talofa Airways operate the inter Samoa route.