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Six passengers who traveled on Jan 6 flight from Hawaii test positive

Dept. of Health logo

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Six passengers who arrived on the Jan. 6 flight from Honolulu tested positive of COVID-19, according to ASG officials who noted that Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga was briefed yesterday morning by the Health Department’s medical team on the latest imported (border) cases.

The officials say the positive cases were confirmed Tuesday night following the first COVID-19 test early in the week for the 179 passengers on the Jan. 6 Hawaiian Airlines flight.

Furthermore, those tested positive were immediately removed from quarantine for 14-day isolation at the Health Department’s Alternate Care Facility in Tafuna.

The second COVID-19 test for travelers in quarantine is scheduled to be carried out today, according to officials.

At press time, the DoH medical team was working to determine whether the six positive cases includes any “close-contact” travelers and where the passengers became infected with the virus.

And separate information received by Samoa News states that all travelers, now in isolation, are fully vaccinated and all are doing well.

With the new positive cases, American Samoa now has seventeen imported cases — all from passengers who arrived on commercial flights via Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu that began last September.

One ASG official said that it was expected that the Jan. 6 flight would have at least one-positive case, after several travelers who registered for the flight were removed from the list after they tested positive prior to departure from Honolulu.

About 400 people had initially registered on the TALOFAPASS websystem — which screens travelers to the territory — for the Jan. 6 flight.

However, a news release from the Governor’s Office following a cabinet meeting last Friday stated that after the first test in Hawaii, 25 positive cases and close contacts were removed from the flight.

An additional 28 positive cases and close contacts were removed from the flight following the second PCR test.

And, after the third test, 22 positive cases and close contacts were removed from the flight.