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LBJ sees increase of patients with flu-like symptoms; triage tents set up to check on incoming

LBJ hospital sign

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — LBJ Medical Center has seen an increase of patients with flu like symptoms while the hospital has set up triage tents at its compound to check on incoming cases, while an appointment-only system is being implemented for LBJ clinics.

This is according to Adela Mabala of LBJ’s Infection Prevention Team during the hospital’s presentation and update of the ASG’s COVID-19 briefing late Sunday afternoon at the Emergency Operations Center.

Mabala explained actions implemented by LBJ’s preparedness to prevent the spread of COVID-19, with no coronavirus cases admitted to the isolation and secured COVID-19 unit inside the hospital. It has 8 beds.

She further explained that there’s been an increase in flu like symptoms in patients at the Emergency Room and Pediatric Ward. LBJ has set up a triage system utilizing tent triage, on the hospital compound, to separate flu and influenza-like illnesses from other incoming cases.

Since the tent triage set up, which began Mar. 23rd, up to Mar. 28th, LBJ has seen 208 cases — including two patients who remained hospitalized as of last Saturday for pneumonia — one each in the medical ward and ICU.

Other data shared by LBJ is that the only-hospital in the territory has a capacity of 124 general beds with 81 in use as of Saturday, while there are 12 ventilators with 2 currently being used.

According to the LBJ presentation, there are non-compliance self-quarantined home passengers arriving at the ER for non related respiratory complaints without first contacting the Health Department for advice before going to the hospital.

DoH has emphasized several times for those placed under home-quarantine that if they feel the symptoms of COVID-19 to call the designated DoH HOTLINE number given to them and don’t go to the ER or a health center without first calling the hotline.

All other residents are also asked to call the Hotline if they have virus-like symptoms.


At the Pharmacy, it has limited 10 people at a time for same-day pickup. An email address [] along with the phone numbers — 258-3462, 258-4153, or 782-3391/782-2296 for patients to contact first for refills to pick up the next day. The goal is that people don’t congregate in the area and also call first — giving time to organize filling the prescription.

For the outpatient clinics, its an appointment based system except for emergencies, pre-op and post-op patients. The person calls the hospital and connects to the clinic to set up the appointment. If the case is serious, they are connected to the ER.

Inpatient visiting hours have changed  — 10am to 11am and 6pm to 7pm. No children under 14 years old allowed, including visiting hours. Additionally, no more than 10 people in any hospital ward during visiting time.

Furthermore, the hospital security provides crowd control, crowd disbursement and visitor compliance.

LBJ asks the public for their cooperation in complying with these policies implemented in coordination with the governor’s COVID-19 state of emergency declaration.