All 122 members of the Koa Moana Task Force are tested negative for COVId-19 based on test results released yesterday by the National Emergency Committee.
69 of them will be deployed to Peleliu to commence repair of the Peleliu airfield and the other 53 will remain onboard the USNS City of Bismarck.
According to NEC, the personnel remaining on board the ship will be restricted to that area and their vessel. No residents will have close contact with them, including the trained local contractors. After 14 days, the service men will be tested again, and if their results are negative, they will be allowed to continue their work in the community.
The arrival of Koa Moana Task Force was earlier questioned by Peleliu leadership and the community for fear of COVID-19 transmission into their community. Resolution by Peleliu Legislature requested that the event be postponed.
In a series of meeting with Peleliu legislature and Peleliu community, they were assured that strict protocol will be adhered to, to ensure minimal risk of transmission which includes testing prior to departing US, quarantining on the ship and be tested and quarantined for another 14 days while in Palau.
With most of the leadership assured, the USNS City of Bismark arrived this week in Malakal port. Now that the test results are out, the personnel will leave to Peleliu to begin their 14 days at Peleliu airport. After 14 days, final test will be administered before they can to join general population to complete planned community projects. (By: L.N. Reklai)

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