The single, asymptomatic case is a female traveler who arrived on the first flight from Hawaii. She was detected in a group of 43 people quarantining at Sadies by the Sea, in Utulei, and was transported to a separate quarantine facility, according to a Department of Health statement. The infected person was fully vaccinated and appeared not to be a historical case.
All those who made contact with the case have been moved into quarantine, reported local news outlet Talanei.
“The discovery of this positive case during quarantine highlights the importance of why our process is critical to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It further highlights the importance of maintaining our current quarantine protocols,” said Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga in a statement.
American Samoa has implemented several protocols for travelers, including a mandatory vaccination, three negative Covid-19 tests, and mandatory 10-day quarantine upon arrival. It had scheduled flights until Dec. 20 with Hawaiian Airlines before the positive case.
Talanei also reported that flights chartered from Apia, Samoa, for workers at its StarKist tuna cannery had been cancelled. It has employed 200 Samoans to work at the cannery, and 50 remain in Apia.
Almost half of American Samoa’s population is vaccinated, though Lt. Gov. Talauega Eleasalo V. Ale has “resisted mandating anything to our people.”
A $100 per dose incentive is being given to residents until Oct. 15.
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Thomas Heaton is a Li Center for Global Journalism Fellow. The position is supported by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Institute for Nonprofit News. You can reach him by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @thomasheaton.