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LBJ has over $3 million in coronavirus related expenditures so far

LBJ hospital sign
$4.89 million in Federal CARES Act funding has got it covered

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — LBJ Medical Center has received more than $4 million in COVID-19 related federal funds, which has helped cover the more than $3 million that the hospital has accumulated so far in coronavirus expenditures.

This is according to hospital chief executive officer Faumuina John Faumuina during the LBJ brief presentation at Sunday’s government coronavirus task force meeting at the Emergency Operations Center, where health officials say American Samoa remains without a coronavirus case after more than 300 samples have been tested.

The LBJ presentation shows that total COVID-19 related funds received for Rural Medical Providers via Provider Relief Fund from the US Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) under the federal CARES Act totals more than $4.89 million.

Faumuina explained that the funds came just in time as the hospital needed to replenish its coffers for coronavirus related expenditures, which totaled more than $3.64 million and includes over $1.35 million in medical equipment; nearly $2 million in medical supplies; and $326,408 in infrastructure costs.

This is not inclusive of labor/ payroll totaling more than $4.85 million, according to Faumuina, who thanked the governor and ASG for reimbursing 50% of this cost on June 8th in the amount of more than $2.42 million.

According to LBJ, the hospital anticipates more expenditures for more COVID-19 projects, supplies and equipment.

Both LBJ and the Health Department officials informed the meeting that as of June 14th, American Samoa remains without a confirmed case after testing 383 samples, as testing continues for first responders.

As of June 14th, total test-kits on hand is 3,396 with 1,805 test-kits for the GeneXpert testing machine — reserved to test symptomatic patients and 1,591 test-kits for the Abbott ID Now machine for community testing, according to DoH.

The meeting was also informed that DoH has completed testing of 147 first responders as of June 13th — covering DoH, hospital, local Environmental Protection Agency, Port Administration, the MV Manu’atele crew who will be sailing the vessel to Hawaii for repairs, and 14 from local stevedoring companies which provides this service at the Port of Pago Pago.

(It was outlined in previous task force meetings that those companies providing stevedoring service to arriving container vessels on the port are also considered first responders and are to be tested.)

DoH also revealed the upcoming schedule of testing of first responders from other ASG agencies such as police, fire bureau and local Homeland Security Department. The governor wants all first responders tested before the territory’s borders are re-opened in the future.