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Five travelers on Friday night’s delayed HAL flight test positive for COVID

Dr. Elizabeth Lauvao
Emergency from Friday’s storm lifted and HAL schedule returns to normal

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Five passengers onboard Hawaiian Airlines flight from Honolulu last week Friday night tested COVID-19 positive and were placed in isolation, in accordance with local protocol.

Responding to media questions Health Department Clinical Services director Dr. Elizabeth Lauvao said a total 210 travelers arrived on the July 15 Hawaiian Airlines flight and 5 passengers tested positive upon arrival.

As per DoH protocol, the positive cases were transferred to the airport isolation hanger, Dr. Lauvao said yesterday morning.

Under current protocol, travelers who test positive are isolated at a DoH facility for 5 days and released to home isolation for another 5-days. Those who test negative are released to go home and only required to check in to ASG’s TalofaPass websystem 5-days after arrival.

Last Friday night’s flight was initially scheduled to arrive Thursday — as the usual schedule — but was rescheduled after Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga issued a State of Emergency last Thursday due to severe weather conditions resulting in damage to roads, infrastructure, property, and coastal villages.

The severe weather shutdown the main runway at Pago Pago International Airport used by Hawaiian Airlines as airport personnel conducted a full assessment of the airport. The shorter runway remained open allowing smaller aircraft to operate flights.

Local Homeland Security issued the all clear for Hawaiian Airlines to operate and the flight arrived around 9p.m. last Friday night.

The governor issued a new memorandum yesterday morning terminating the State of Emergency brought on by the severe weather.

“Because the threat or danger from severe weather has passed and the disaster has been dealt with to the extent that emergency conditions no longer exist,” the governor said, “the state disaster emergency is now terminated.”

Pursuant to local law, the governor said normal governmental activities including airport operations may resume effective immediately.

The two weekly Hawaiian Airlines flights this week were last night (Monday) and this coming Thursday.