- Pohnpei State COVID-19 updates
As of March 31, 2021, the Pohnpei State Department of Health and Social Services has administered 8,240 first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. For the second dose, 3,355 doses have been administered. This means 3,355 people have completed the two-shot series.
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is available for all persons ages 18 and above to receive. It is a two-dose vaccine, with the second dose administered 28 days after the first dose. There have been no adverse reactions reported in Pohnpei since the beginning of the administration of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the Moderna vaccine is 94.1 effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who received two doses who had no evidence of being previously infected. Temporary side effects of the vaccine include flu-like symptoms, headaches, redness and soreness around the shot site, and pain. These are temporary effects only.
The Pohnpei COVID-19 Task Force has been invited to meet with the National Task Force to discuss repatriations for Pohnpei’s stranded citizens and residents. The Medical Monitoring Area in Dekehtik stands ready to repatriate Pohnpei residents. The completion ceremony took place on Friday, March 19, 2021. The Pohnpei State Government and COVID-19 Task Force are working with the National Task Force to repatriate our residents in the RMI, Guam, and beyond.
2. Saladak Elementary School students showcase traditional and cultural skills
On Friday, March 26, 2021, Governor Oliver visited Saladak Elementary School in Uh, to attend a showcase of cultural and traditional skills by students from the ECE level to 8th grade. The students and program are part of a pilot project, NEO TERO, in partnership with Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL), that aims to incorporate traditional and cultural learning into elementary school-age children.
Representing and speaking on behalf of Governor Oliver, Director of Education, Stanley Etse, thanked the Principal, teachers, and students of Saladak for the program and events. He spoke of the success of the NEO TERO project at Saladak and shared his and Governor Oliver’s hopes of expanding this important program to other Elementary schools. The students showcased their skills in weaving, traditional dancing, identifying the parts of a traditional canoe, reciting clan names, traditional leaders of Uh municipality, coconut husking and grating, and even a sakau ceremony in the Saladak elementary school nahs that was run entirely by students.
Mr. Kulian Marino (Kiroun en Tamwarohi), MC, and Principal Joseph Amor welcomed the Governor, Director, and all. The community elders who have been teaching traditional skills through the NEO TERO program are listed below:
- Michael Bernardo (Soumadau en Dehpehk powe) – Village (Nanwelin Rohi)
- Robert Bernardo (Koarohmin leng U) – Village (Nanwelin Rohi)
- Kulian Marino (Kiroun en Tamwarohi) – Village (Iosmaru)
- Alter Adolip (Soumakahn Diadi) – Village (Diadi)
- Dexter Oscar (Sahu/Soumedewen Saladak) – Village (Adoroi)
- Kanisia Bernardo (Kedin Madauen Dehpehk Powe) – Village (Nanwelin Rohi)
- Meliana Mallarme – Nett
- Ambelly Joseph (Ketin Maka) Village (Rohi Pah)
- Erlinso Alex (Nahnpein U) – Village (Mwoale)
- Pedrus Abrahm (Setin U) – Village (Dehpehk)
3. Sports Office visits Governor Oliver ahead of Liberation Day Games
On Tuesday, March 23, 2021, Mr. Mike Loyola and Ramsey Joab from the Division of Sports and Recreation under the Department of Health and Social Services met with Governor Oliver at the Governor’s cabinet conference room. The meeting was to discuss two items: The upcoming 2021, September 11 Liberation Day Games, and Micro Games 2022.
Mr. Loyola informed Governor Oliver that the sports office is seeking guidance and advice for the planning and implementation of the upcoming September 11 Liberation Day games. Mr. Loyola mentioned the sports office will be interacting more with schools this year. He said the plans are still being developed, and consultations will also be made with the local Municipal Chief Executives.
Governor Oliver thanked Mr. Loyola and Mr. Joab for their visit and for informing the Governor’s Office of the September 11, Liberation Day games plan. Last year, in 2020, there were no activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing advisories issued. This year, with lessons, learned one year on, reliable testing, and immunizations available, Governor Oliver encouraged the Sports Development Office and the Sports Commission to move forward with plans for celebrating Liberation Day in the same fashion as years past. Governor Oliver also added that planning should also take into account the understanding that if Pohnpei’s COVID-19 situation should change, the planning and implementation for the games will also change.
Mr. Loyola also informed Governor Oliver that planning for the 2022 Micro Games continues and the host – Majuro in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, continues to make preparations for the games to be held there.
4. T&I Administrator and FSM PMU Project Manager meet Governor Oliver
On Tuesday, March 23, 2021, the Administrator of the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure, Iso-Nahnken of Madolenihmw, Mr. John Adolph, and Mr. Robert Goodwin, Project Manager at the FSM Department of Transportation, Communication and Infrastructure’s Project Management Unit met with Governor Oliver at the Governor’s Cabinet Conference Room.
The purpose of the meeting was to update Governor Oliver on the progress of Infrastructure projects in Pohnpei State. Mr. Goodwin informed Governor Oliver that currently there is approximately $82 million available for infrastructure projects in Pohnpei with five projects already approved by the Army Corps of Engineers and are ready to be undertaken. The five projects include water expansion projects in Kinakap, Madolenihw, PICS High School renovations, COM-FSM Palikir Dispensary/Teaching Clinic, Substance Abuse Building, Primary Care Building, and Mental Health Building.
Governor Oliver thanked Mr. Goodwin for his visit and supported the plans for moving forward that Mr. Goodwin and T&I Administrator, Iso-Nahnken, Mr. John Adolph discussed implementing infrastructure projects.
5. SDA High School Debate team visits Governor Oliver
On Friday, March 26, the Seventh Day Adventist High School Debate team visited Governor Oliver at his office, Peilapalap, Kolonia. The purpose of the meeting for the debate team was to ask Governor Oliver questions regarding the theme or proposition of this year’s debate:
Should immunizations and face masks be mandatory by Law?
The students were led by Mr. Leighton Edward, Debate team advisor, and members, MJ Russel, Sophia Bacalando, Eugene Biakalia, and Sean Ruepong.
On whether Government workers would be hypothetically replaced if a law mandated immunization, Governor Oliver answered that public servants must lead by example and if needed, be replaced by those who can lead and comply with requirements.
The students asked Governor Oliver approximately eleven questions regarding immunizations, face masks, Pohnpei’s COVID-19 response, and Governor Oliver shared his knowledge on the subjects, asking that the students continue to seek advice from experts like the COVID-19 Task Force, Medical Doctors, and even the Attorney General’s office.
Governor Oliver expressed his appreciation for the student’s visit and wished them the best of luck in the upcoming debate.
6. Governor Oliver makes unannounced visits to Kolonia and Ohmine Elementary Schools
On the morning of Thursday, March 25, 2021, Governor Oliver made two unannounced visits to Kolonia Elementary School and Ohmine Elementary School. At his stop at Kolonia Elementary School, Governor Oliver was able to watch students and teachers weaving baskets and making preparations for their cultural day celebrations. At Ohmine Elementary School, Governor Oliver stopped by classrooms to speak with teachers and students as they were engaged in learning science, math, spelling, and even debating. Governor Oliver was very impressed by the politeness and respectful behavior of the students at both Kolonia and Ohmine Elementary Schools.
These unannounced visits are part of Governor Oliver’s approach to visiting not just schools, but also Government offices to meet and understand the challenges and triumphs that employees are facing serving the people of Pohnpei.