American Samoa adapting to surging community spread

American Samoa's Covid 19 response is changing as it deals with the community spread of the virus.

The chairman of the Covid 19 Task force, Lieutenant Governor Talauega Eleasalo Ale, says Covid is surging in the community and American Samoa must adjust to address the needs of the community.

"We need to move away from mass and indiscriminate lockdown policies and focus on adopting realistic and targetted policies to ensure that our people are able to live their lives safely while ensuring that life-saving services are accessible to our public," Talauega said.

The new strategy places emphasis on self responsibility and Talauega has called on the people of American Samoa to do their part.

Colour-coded alert levels will no longer be used and official directions will be based on the community surge, with advice provided by local and federal health authorities.

The curfew continues from 9pm to 4.30am and business hours are extending from 5am to 8pm with public gatherings limited to 20 people outdoors and 10 people indoors.

Business leaders are urged to do their part to ensure the safety of their employees and customers, and staff who test positive should be encouraged to stay at home.

"This shift also acknowledges that the surge we are currently in will eventually slow down and end - it's just a matter of when. If we are good at getting vaccinated, masking, social distancing, it is very likely that we will reach the end of this community spread and this surge very quickly," Talauega said.

Government offices are reopening today with limited staff, while daycare centres, schools and the community college remain closed with classes continuing online.

There are 555 cases of Covid-19 reported in the territory as of last weekend.