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Number of COVID positives remain virtually steady — in low double digits

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Situational Report to the task force becomes a little less thorough

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — For the fourth-week in a row, the number of COVID-19 positive cases from the community spread of the pandemic remains at double-digits, according to the Health Department (DoH) Situational Report presented to the COVID-19 Task Force weekly briefing held Tuesday afternoon, while the number of COVID related deaths remains at 34.

DoH reports 41 new COVID positives from the 3,932 individuals tested at DoH clinics and LBJ Medical Center for the week of Aug. 22 to Aug. 28 — compared to the previous week of 54 COVID positives from the 3,716 individuals tested for the week of Aug. 15 to Aug. 21.

A footnote in the report points out that DoH is “awaiting case information” for 5 positive cases reported by LBJ on Aug. 25. No explanation was provided in the report.

DoH data shows 85.4% of the eligible population is fully vaccinated while 1.7% have yet to receive either the first or second shot of the COVID vaccine and 89.7% have received at least one-shot

With the new positives, total cumulative COVID-19 count stands at 8,196 since the first community case was recorded on Feb. 28, while there are 58 active cases.

The report no longer provides a breakdown of positives cases for all villages in the territory, including the Manu’a island group — as it had done since the outbreak in February

The DoH report does show that COVID-19 related deaths remain at 34, which is confirmed by the LBJ report to the task force. LBJ also reported that total cumulative hospital admissions for COVID since the outbreak stands at 157.

LBJ informed the task force that the hospital has downgraded to Code Yellow restrictions as of Aug. 29. Among the restrictions, COVID-19 testing for entrance to LBJ facility is suspended; COVID testing for only those symptomatic per a physician; and masking and social distancing continues and is enforced.

Meanwhile, the DoH report provides a summary of the Hawaiian Airlines fight from Honolulu on Aug. 29 only — but none for the flight last week Thursday.

According to DoH, the TALOFAPass websystem — which screens entry into the territory — registered 299 passengers while the Hawaiian Airlines passenger manifest shows 278. One traveler didn’t register on TALOFAPass but no information was provided as to what action was taken — if any — on this traveler who didn’t register.

DoH said that 278 travelers were COVID-19 tested and four of them were positive. As in the usual protocol, positive cases are placed in isolation for a certain period of time.

Unlike previous reports, the latest DoH report provides no information on flights from Samoa and none for DoH operations at the Port of Pago Pago for incoming vessels.