More than 200 prisoners in American Samoa have tested positive for COVID.
Last week a video was circulating on social media by an inmate incarcerated at the Tafuna Correctional Facility claiming prisoners contracted the virus and are sick.
On Friday, American Samoa’s Emergency Operations Committee during its debriefing confirmed the Department of Health conducted COVID-19 testing at the TCF where there are currently a total of 296 inmates.
According to Talanei reports, a total of 117 were tested — including DOH staff — and 88 were positive, and that 29 tested negative including 7 DOH staff, and that six inmates were transferred to Tafuna health facility for treatment.
On Thursday, March 24th the Department of Health completed its testing of remaining inmates. Out of a total of 174 tested, 138 tested positive and 38 were assessed for treatment.
The Departments of Health, Homeland Security, and Public safety are continuously implementing mitigation measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in TCF.
This includes designating separate spaces for those who test positives. Once an inmate tests positive at the TCF, they are immediately separated from those who do not have COVID-19. Inmates that develop symptoms are assessed if they are in need of therapeutic treatments and can be transferred to the Tafuna Health Center to receive them in a secured area.
The Department of Health and COVID-19 Task Force will continue to thoroughly assess the situation at TCF, and do what is necessary to take care of this population. The community is continually encouraged to ensure that they are vaccinated, boosted, and get tested so that proper care is provided in a timely manner.
In the meantime, new cases of Covid recorded yesterday numbered 360, out of 1,315 tests conducted at the Department of Health clinics and LBJ Hospital.
From February 21 to March 23 there have been 2,565 Covid cases and 343 of them have recovered. There was 1 hospitalization yesterday, and the number of patients in the Covid-19 Ward was 7.
The number of Covid vaccinations administered yesterday was 476, of which 417 were booster shots. DOH continues to encourage the community to get vaccinated if they have not done so or get their booster shot if they are eligible to help prevent severe illness, hospitalization, or death.