American Samoa

American Samoa records its first COVID-19 case

The positive case was a passenger who arrived on the September 13 flight from Hawaii according to Department of health officials.

The passenger is now in isolation for 14-days for observation and additional tests.

This was confirmed by the territory's acting governor Talauega Eleasalo Ale, during a press conference, where he was surrounded by health officials.

Rat infestation problem at American Samoa Post Office

Territorial health officials are waiting for official permission from the US Postal Service to enter the facility for inspection and address the infestation.

Samoa News reports that the rat problem was raised during a House Health Committee hearing.

A local lawmaker, Luaitaua Gene Pan, told the hearing that every time he goes to the Post Office to pick up his mail, the Post Master or other senior officials approach him and ask for assistance with the problem of the many rats living inside the building.

American Samoa's repatriation system picks up five Covid-19 cases

The four are now under the care of state health officials along with one person who may have been exposed to them.

All have been removed from the hotel in Honolulu.

The information was revealed at a press conference with Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga and members of the Covid 19 Task Force, led by Lieutenant Governor Talauega Eleasalo Ale.

Health Director Motusa Tuileama Nua said those who tested positive were members of a family who had travelled from the mainland.

New American Samoa Governor sworn in

Church leaders, chiefs and orators as well as business owners witnessed the inauguration of the sixth locally elected gubernatorial team to take office at the Fagatogo Malae.

The new Lieutenant Governor is Talauega Eleasalo Ale who was the Attorney General under the previous administration.

Lemanu, who turned 61 today, arrived at the ceremony on by himself because First Lady Ella Perefoti is stranded in Hawaii due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Covid-19 positive sailor in American Samoa port

The vessel, Coral Islander, arrived Friday and the Department of Health team boarded to carry out coronavirus tests for the crew.

One of the 20 crew members yielded a positive result for coronavirus.

The Coral Islander sailed from Japan and called into New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga before it arrived in Pago Pago.

An epidemiologist Dr. Aifili John Tufa said the two health department personnel who carried out the tests and the administration pilot who guided the vessel into port were now in isolation.

Covid-infected ship in American Samoa to remain offshore

The container ship, the Fesko Askold, has 17 crew on board.

It arrived in Pago Pago on Sunday afternoon and sailed out of the main harbour at nine yesterday morning.

It remains about eight kilometres from shore.

American Samoa's COVID-19 task force chairman Iulogologo Joseph Pereira said this would allow local authorities to complete their assessment of the situation and come up with a plan to offload and pick up containers.

He said steps had been taken to decontaminate the dock in case of any contamination while the vessel was dockside.

Lemanu and Talauega win American Samoa gubernatorial race

Results released by the office this morning show the pair securing 7,154 of the 11,861 votes counted, more than 60 percent of the votes.

It is the first time in more than 30 years that there won't be a run-off election in the gubernatorial race.

According to the election office Lemanu and Talauega won 7,154 votes (60.3 percent) of the 11,861 votes counted Gaoteote and Faiivae garnered 2,594 votes or( 21.9 percent) , I'aulualo and Tapaau polled 1,461 votes, (12.3 percent) and Nua and Satele received 652 ballots, (5.5 percent).

Voting underway in American Samoa

Electors are casting ballots for the gubernatorial race - to elect the governor and lieutenant governor; for the territory's Delegate to the US House of Representatives and 20 or the 21 members of the local House.

The Swains Island seat was already decided in a meeting last week, with incumbent Su'a Alexander Jennings returning for an eighth term.

Prior to polls open today 1,601 absentee ballots had already been. Of these, 892 are outside or off island absentee ballots and 709 are local absentee votes.

Another American Samoa lawmaker returns Covid-19 cheque

Pago Pago Representative Vesiai Poyer Samuelu said when the cheques were distributed he questioned the House speaker about the source of the money but got no answer.

Some lawmakers had said the leaders told them the funds can be used to set up offices in their homes and pay for telephone and internet costs.

The House Speaker and Senate President received US$20,000 while senators and representatives got US$10,000 each.

Tuala uta Representative Larry Sanitoa was the first legislator to return his cheque.

Public gatherings, church services allowed in American Samoa

The fifth Amended Emergency Declaration is effective from today and allows public gatherings which are limited to 150 people and with social distancing in place.

Businesses can now operate from 5am to 9 pm but must allow just 50 percent of their capacity within the premises.

All schools will remain shut for the next 30 days, with the current school year closed.

Public beaches and parks have reopened for the first time since March.

American Samoa does not have a confirmed case of Covid-19.

The new declaration is in effect until 1 July.