Second repat flight set to arrive today, Wed. March 10 shortly after noon
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The American Samoa Department of Homeland Security issued a statement yesterday afternoon detailing preparations in Hawaii and American Samoa for the 2nd repatriation flight, which was the main topic of discussion during the meeting of the COVID-19 Task Force on Monday, March 8, 2021 at the Department of Homeland Security (EOC) in Tafuna.
MARCH 10TH REPAT FLIGHT
Approximately 189 passengers are now confirmed for the 2nd repatriation flight after completing pre-quarantine at the Waikiki East Ohana Hotel since the last week of February. The first COVID-19 tests were administered on Monday March 1 (Day 4) and 3 positive cases with 1 close contact (4 travelers) were isolated from quarantine. The second and last of COVID-19 tests for the group were administered on March 7 (Day 10) with 2 positive cases. All positive cases have been referred to the Hawaii Department of Health for isolation.
The second repatriation, Flight HA925, is scheduled to depart Honolulu at 8 a.m. arriving at the Pago Pago International Airport at 12:40 p.m. The outbound Medicaid charter is scheduled to depart Pago Pago International Airport at 3:35 PM with an estimated time of arrival to Honolulu International Airport at 10:05 PM.
Once the flight arrives at the Tafuna airport, the same protocols in place during the first repatriation flight will be implemented. Passengers will be transported to the quarantine site at the Tradewinds Hotel, where they will be quarantined for an additional 12 days. The quarantine will include two COVID testings of passengers on the 2nd and 9th day and before they are released, they will all receive COVID vaccination.
CHECK-IN & FLIGHT INFORMATION
Ticket Counter Hours for check in are from 7:00 - 11:00 AM. Security Checkpoint will open from 11:00 - 1:45 PM. HAL will close the security gate precisely at 1:45PM. There will be no exceptions, if you miss the closing time, you will miss the flight. Kindly advising passengers to say goodbye to your loved ones at home. The airport will close at 10:30AM to all non-passengers. Only passengers and airport employees will be allowed at the airport after 10:30AM. There will only be a drop-off at the curb for those coming to check in for the security line. Masks will be required upon entry at the airport. For more information, please call 699-4777.
TRADEWINDS HOTEL QUARANTINE FACILITY
The Tradewinds Hotel Quarantine Facility will reopen this Wednesday, March 10, for the arrival of the second repatriation. All families of repatriation travelers are banned from the airport and Tradewinds in the first 72 hours. Drop off of essential items to quarantine passengers will be allowed after all passengers are retested on Day 2 in American Samoa and have negative results.
Once approved, essential items allowed to be dropped off include food, drinks, medicine, toiletries, change of clothes, charger, reading materials and other personal items. Items not allowed include alcohol, cigarettes, illicit drugs, pets, weapons.
COVID-19 TESTING UPDATES
Director of Health Motusā Tuileama Nua provided updates on COVID-19 tests and swabs on hand (8,232 Tests & 18,414 Total Swabs). Total samples collected stand at 3,587.
COVID-19 VACCINATION UPDATES
As of 3/8/21, 44.2% of American Samoa’s population who are eligible to get vaccinated has received at least one shot of the two-shot COVID vaccination while 30.1% have completed their two shots. The Department of Health is continuing their territory-wide vaccination efforts. The Tafuna Family Health center offers vaccines every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8am to 3pm. Both first and second doses for Pfizer and Moderna available. All regular clinics closed except for Tafuna Well Baby Clinic. Please call 219 for more information.
TAFUNA AIRPORT COVID-19 VACCINE DRIVE THRU CLINIC
On Saturday, March 13th, DOH will kick off a Drive-Thru-Vaccine Clinic at the Airport parking lot from 7:30am to 12pm. Anyone 18 years and older are eligible. We also invite our elderly population, especially wheelchair bound and those needing assistance with walking but can travel in a vehicle to make use of this service. Please call the hotline (219) now to pre-enroll or sign up a maximum of 6 passengers for the drive through service on March 13. You will need to give your name, hospital number and a phone number. The DOH team will check to make sure your information is current on the registry and call you back to confirm your spot. You will need to pick up a consent form at the Tafuna primary care clinic or the Tafuna satellite pharmacy to complete and bring with you on the day of the drive through. The last day to sign up for the drive through is Thursday, March 11th at 4pm. Please call 219 for more information.
Failure of past and upcoming travelers to pay the cost-share of the repatriation flights may negatively impact the ability of ASG to sustain future repatriation flight and quarantine operations. March 10th travelers unable to make arrangements with family to make cost-share payments right away have been asked to sign a promissory note indicating that they will make payments upon release from quarantine in American Samoa.
The Task Force encourages February 1st and March 10th passengers to pay in person or to make arrangements with family members as soon as possible with the Medicaid Office by visiting their office in Tafuna, contacting by phone at 684-699-4777, 699-4778, 699-4779, and/or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Every resident who wishes to return home must register on the DOH website [https://americansamoapublichealth.com/] to undergo medical clearances. In addition, travelers must upload residency and travel documents on the Department of Legal Affairs website [http://www.legalaffairs.as.gov/repatriation-document-upload].