American Samoa reports first positive COVID-19 case


American Samoa confirmed its first positive case of COVID-19, the island nation’s Department of Homeland Security said Friday.

The case was detected last Thursday among 43 travelers who were quarantined at a hotel in the village of Utulei. After the case was confirmed, more than 200 travelers quarantined at a nearby hotel were also tested. No other positive cases were reported.

The traveler who did test positive was asymptomatic when tested and was fully vaccinated, Homeland Security said in a statement. The infected person has been transported to an isolation facility at the Department of Health, and the rest of the passengers are in quarantine.

The small island country requires that travelers spend 10 days in quarantine upon arrival. The department said the protocol has “allowed the medical team to continue the close monitoring of travelers and minimize the risk of community transmission.”

“The discovery of this positive case during quarantine highlights the importance of why our process is critical to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Samoa’s Homeland Security said.

Officials called on the community to practice good hygiene by social distancing, washing hands and remaining calm and vigilant.

As of Saturday, all sales and ticketing at Samoa Airways in New Zealand and Australia were closed until further notice.