For Official Release

PR 001-02052021

Office of the Governor

Utulei, American Samoa

February 5, 2021

 

Governor Lemanu, “Our work is not complete.”

Governor Lemanu’s reacts to the Negative COVID19 tests for members of the first Repatriation Flight.

The Communications Officer states, “...this is not a sprint, it is a marathon.”

 

An overwhelming sense of relief and hope was felt in the Office of the Governor Thursday afternoon as reports surfaced of no positive COVID-19 cases after the first round of testing and later confirmed by the COVID-19 Task Force.

 

Governor Lemanu was elated. “Although this is great news, our work is not complete. We need to understand that although this is an indicator of our progress of closely monitoring our travelers, the COVID-19 Task Force is committed to their goal, to keep American Samoa COVID-19 Free. And this will require the stringent policies of quarantine to remain in place until we are all clear.”  He continues, “At this time, the travelers have been at risk of exposure since leaving the Honolulu hotel, and they need to be tested and recommended by CDC to be quarantined for 14 days.  As of now, no one leaves the quarantine early.  I support what the Governor’s Authorized Representative (GAR) and the COVID-19 Task Force has planned, and look forward to a successful and safe discharge for all our travelers.”

 

Governor commends the COVID19 Task Force under the leadership of GAR Lt. Governor Talauega. Governor Lemanu states, “Undertaking this massive coordination within the first 30 days in office is a great challenge.  I am thankful for the GAR’s courage and leadership during this repatriation effort.”

 

Communications Officer Sunia states, “The control measures from the COVID-19 Task Force are in place to ensure that we ‘avoid causing a problem from getting worse.’ We are blessed not to have any cases so far and that we are leading the Nation in vaccination rates, but controlling this pandemic is not a sprint it is a marathon.” He continues, “We are confident that many of the issues that the travelers raised have been discussed and covered during the Task Force’s Hot Wash and Lessons Learned discussions. Everyone has learned that this process is not a perfect one, but it was perfectly rehearsed and executed as such. I am sure the COVID19 Task Force has collected amplifying data and metrics that are going to help make future flights more efficient and maintaining the safety of travelers and first responders from limited exposure time.”

 

The Governor wishes to enforce mask-wearing, social distancing and getting vaccinated.