American Samoa's health department confirms community cases of Covid-19 in the territory.
A health department MIQ worker from the January 27 Honolulu flight is believed to have contracted the virus and then infected seven family members.
Last night, Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga declared the territory is now under "Code Red" the highest of its three color-coded system as it deals with its first community tranmissions of Covid-19.
Lemanu said the government and some businesses will shut down for one week after which they will assess the situation and decide the next steps to take.
All public schools are also closed for one week
He urged the community to work together on this important issue.
Thirty-five passengers from the January 27 Honolulu flight tested positive to Covid and eight quarantine staff from the health department, that worked at quarantine sites, also tested positive.
Our correpondent said this is the highest number of imported cases to the territory on an incoming flight and the first time that quarantine staff had tested positive.
Prior to this flight, American Samoa recorded 18 new imported positive cases - all on Hawaiian Airlines flights - which resume air service between Honolulu and Pago Pago on September last year.
Code Red: In the event of severe spread of the disease locally, major protective measures will be enforced.
- Some businesses will only be allowed to operate from 5am to 4pm.
- All passenger air and sea travel will be suspended.
- Ports of entry will be closed except for Military and approved air or sea cargo vessels.
- All public gatherings will be completely shut down.
- All ASG operations will be suspended except for first responders and essential employees.