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Outbound Traveler Tests Negative for COVID-19 After a Second Laboratory Test

September 21, 2020

On September 17, 2020 the Ministry of Health (MOH) activated investigation, contact tracing, and testing protocols after receiving communication from a local contractor that an employee traveling out of Palau last week had tested positive of COVID-19 upon arrival at destination.  This individual had been residing and working in Palau since December 2019 and has no known contact with any confirmed COVID-19 case and has no recent travel history out of the country. MOH had tested all known contacts in Palau, and all results were negative.


• Per request from MOH Emergency Operations Center, the outbound traveler took another RT-PCR COVID-19 test from a different lab certified by the Republic of the Philippines Department of Health. Specimen  was  collected  from  both  the  back  of  the  nose  and  throat  (nasopharyngeal  and oropharyngeal), and results were negative. This means that the first test result was a false positive, and therefore that individual has been released from quarantine.

•  The  Bureau of Public Health/MOH  remains in  communication with the WHO International Health Regulations  (IHR)  Office,  the  Philippines  IHR  National  Focal  Point  and  other  regional  advisors  to determine other details that may warrant additional measures.

The public’s health and safety remain our priority, and although we have not confirmed a COVID-19 case in Palau,  we  continue  to  urge  the  public  to  practice  preventive  measures  including  proper  and  frequent handwashing, respiratory etiquette, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, isolating from others when sick and calling the Hospital for advice. These measures not only prevent COVID-19 but also other infectious diseases.

If you have any questions or need further information on quarantine or testing for COVID-19, please contact the MOH EOC Deputy Incident Commander/Liaison Officer, Mr. Gaafar Uherbelau at 775-1310.