DoH looking at conducting a mini COVID-19 island wide exercise
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — At the ASG coronavirus task force meeting earlier this month, Health director Motusa Tuileama recommended a mini COVID-19 island wide exercise to test the “strength” of the local health care system in the event of a coronavirus outbreak.
He said the concern in the event of an outbreak is at the village level where a family is affected and that would mean that village and family are on “shutdown”. Motusa says DoH is looking at working with the Samoan Affairs office to assist with educating those at the village and family levels about what to do if there is an outbreak.
He says this would make it easy for DoH and LBJ Medical Center to identify those infected and work towards assisting them as well as isolating them immediately to prevent further spread of the virus.
According to the DoH video presentation a mini island exercise, would be a response to when the coronavirus threat level is elevated to Code-Yellow — the level reached when a case is confirmed. DoH said this should test the village response as well as identify village sites for quarantine and isolation for those infected. It’s suggested that villages should police their own during such a time.
DoH again recommended that quarantine and isolation should have a plan at the village level.
Motusa suggested that DoH, LBJ, along with the task force meet to discuss the possible mini coronavirus island wide exercise before it’s presented to the governor for review.
Samoa News understands that this issue remains pending.
Meanwhile, village quarantine sites were also emphasized by Motusa when releasing over the weekend, DoH’s COVID-19 public health reminders. “Public Health strongly encourages village leaders and mayors to identify a quarantine centralized facility to provide support in the event of the spread of COVID-19,” the agency emphasized.
“By identifying these village quarantine facilities, Public Health will be able to centralize screening services to decrease the spread of COVID-19,” said DoH, which also urged families to choose a separate room and bathroom or a separate home in the event a family member/traveler requires home quarantine.
“Quarantined individuals MUST be isolated from the rest of the family in the household for 14-days or more,” and upon completion of the quarantine period, the traveler/person must call DoH hotline for a medical clearance certificate, DoH said.
Currently all borders are closed under the state of emergency declaration which lapses on June 1st.