The surge in Covid-19 cases continues in American Samoa 


The surge in Covid-19 cases continues in American Samoa

There were 344 new cases of COVID, in the week from July 4th-10th, according to a report by the Department of Health, at yesterday’s weekly meeting of the COVID-19 Task Force.

93KHJ reported that in the previous week, there were 317 new cases.

In addition, more transmissible subvariants of the Omicron variant of COVID have been identified among arrivals; while the LBJ Hospital reported an increase in COVID patients, currently admitted.

A total of 4,074 COVID tests were conducted by DOH and LBJ Hospital in the reporting period.

The 344 new positives take the tally of COVID cases, in the territory, to 7,143.

The number of active COVID cases is 531. The number of COVID-related deaths is 32.

There’s also been a surge in COVID cases in Manu’a. 53 new cases were recorded, taking the total number of COVID cases recorded in Manu’a to 159. 76 cases are active.

Also highlighted in the DOH report, is that new variants of the variant, namely, the BA 4 and BA 5.1 variant, have been identified in travelers arriving from Hawaii—according to testing results of samples that were sent off island.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Wallensky has said that the severity of these variants haven’t been determined, but its certain they are more transmissible than earlier variants.

As with the previous Task Force meetings, since the number of COVID cases started to increase, Dr. Elizabeth Lauvao, DOH’s Clinical Director said that public service announcements on the need to wear masks and social distancing will be rolled out as prevention measures. However, there have been no PSA’s with that message for more than a month.

Dr. Abraham Leiato, Acting Chief of Staff at LBJ Hospital, reported that there were 11 COVID patients admitted to the hospital. In the past 24-hour period, there were 22 cases of whom 16 were treated.

There’s been a slight increase in vaccination coverage. After hovering at 84.9% for more than a month, the latest vaccination report shows that 85.1% of the population is now fully vaccinated.

It was also revealed at yesterday’s Task Force meeting, that one passenger who was on last Thursday’s Hawaiian Airlines flight had not registered on TalofaPass. The traveler, a woman, is said to have been transiting here to go to Samoa, and is supposed to leave today.

It’s not known how the traveler was able to board the flight without registering on TalofaPass and who gave permission for her to travel here.

When travelers from Apia were first required to register on TalofaPass, a handful were returned —on the plane they traveled on— due to not being registered on TalofaPass.