15 Mar 2022

American Samoa allows cannery re-opening after federal advice

8:34 am on 15 March 2022

American Samoa's lieutenant governor, Talauega Eleasalo Ale, said the territorial government took federal advice before allowing StarKist Samoa tuna cannery to re-open.

The cannery, the largest priviate sector employer in the territory, returned to operations last Friday after being closed for two weeks due to the community spread of Covid-19.

As of March 12th the total of Covid cases has reached 527, with 54 having recovered.

Talauega said epidemiologists from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Thane Hancock and Richard Brostrom, advised the government on how to go about the re-opening.

StarKist cannery workers waiting outside the plant

StarKist cannery workers waiting outside the plant Photo: Fili Sagopulutele

The two doctors are part of a 55 member team which arrived ten days ago to assist with the response to the Covid outbreak.

Talauega said re-opening StarKist Samoa meant many other businesses, including buses, the stores near StarKist, the stevedoring service and the can-manufacturing plant, also had to open.

All workers had to be fully vaccinated - a condition that StarKist workers met months ago.