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Hawaiian Airlines flights suspended through Dec 30

Hawaiian Airlines plane on HNL Reef Runway
No other changes in 10th Amended Declaration

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Hawaiian Airlines flights between Honolulu and Pago Pago are suspended for an additional 30-days, through Dec. 30th, according to Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga’s coronavirus Tenth Amended Declaration, which is effective Nov. 1st to Nov. 30th, as American Samoa — without a confirmed case — continues under the “Code Blue” threat-level.

The amended document, dated Nov. 1st, was released early yesterday morning by the Governor’s Office. And the only major change in the new amended declaration deals with Hawaiian Airlines flights - which as of last month, were suspended through the end of November.

Responding to Samoa News inquiries, ASG’s COVID-19 Task Force chairman, Iulogologo Joseph Pereira explain the situation with Hawaiian flights.

“At the request of Hawaiian Airlines regarding our intentions for the month of December to assist with its planning, the Governor — based on the worsening status of the COVID-19 Pandemic — informed the airline that border closure will continue into the month of December and thus Hawaiian Airlines flights will correspondingly be suspended,” Iulogologo told Samoa News yesterday morning.

While Hawaiian flights for November are suspended, “we have reserved the option for special flights such as medical or repatriation charters,” said Iulogologo, who is also the Governor’s Executive Assistant.

According to the 10th amended declaration, all Hawaiian Airlines flights will continue to be suspended for an additional 30-days, with reconsideration slated for Dec. 31, 2020.

The amended document noted that all adopted plans and recommended actions approved by the governor and lieutenant governor and adopted by the ASG coronavirus task force since the issuance of the first declaration on Mar. 13th 2020, has proven effective given the territory’s sustained Coronavirus Free Status achieved over the period of seven and half months.

And as of Oct. 27, both LBJ Medical Center and Health Department have conducted COVID-19 testing for 1,768 individuals and all came back negative.

It points out that the government is committed to continue to conduct more testing of the local population with priorities given to the first responders and the most vulnerable of the local residents.

While the most vulnerable sector of the population has been predominantly within the elderly population, the extended declaration points to new global data which shows the “young generation is now also susceptible of being infected along with the growth in the death rate within this age group.”

It also states that territorial leaders “are keenly sensitive, sympathetic and grateful for the sacrifices being made by all American Samoa’s residents stranded in the United States and elsewhere in the world attributed to local efforts to stop the coronavirus from entering our shores causing a human catastrophe.”

It points to the number of confirmed cases and deaths globally — including the U.S and its territories — as of Oct. 27th, which is when Hawaii registered 211 fatalities — reflecting a 240% increase from the previous month and 12,351 confirmed cases — representing a 82% rise from last month. Given that Hawai’i is the “only gateway to American Samoa, our vulnerability is amplified,” the amended declaration points out.

(Hawaii Health Department online data — as of 12 noon Oct. 31st — shows that the number of confirmed cases increased to 15,071 and 219 deaths.)

The amended declaration has again noted that sufficient data is now available which validates the fact that Pacific Islanders face greater susceptibility and vulnerability to being infected by the coronavirus and high rate and incidence of death.

There are no new restrictions under the 10th amended declaration, but it emphasized the importance of full compliance with ongoing requirements.

Click on attachment to download text of declaration.