Purpose and Scope

As the sole provider of public higher education in Hawaiʻi, the University of Hawaiʻi 10-campus system is committed to improving the social, economic, and environmental well-being of current and future generations. University programming and opportunities include learning, working, and living (for some) in settings deemed higher risk for contracting and/or transmitting the COVID-19 virus. As of March 2022, Hawaiʻi is entering the “coexisting with COVID-19 stage” of the pandemic with the combination of vaccinations, boosters and exposure to the virus, which has built up immunity locally and nationally.

Widely available vaccines in the United States are very effective at protecting vaccinated people against severe COVID-19, hospitalizations, and death from COVID-19. The university continues to be proactive and agile in its response to the COVID-19 and regularly updates these guidelines. Please note: these Guidelines are interim only and are subject to revision.

These Guidelines apply to all university operations (except where noted), activities on the university’s campuses and at off-campus facilities (“onsite” or “facility/ies”), and all students, employees, and visitors to university facilities. External parties that are granted permission to share or use University facilities shall also follow these guidelines. Based on these Guidelines, each campus will develop its own operational plan that takes into consideration its unique location, facilities, program needs, and available resources.

All campuses will closely monitor their local conditions and surroundings. They will be prepared to alter operations and services in a timely and appropriate manner in response to COVID-19-related situations or circumstances. Additionally, UH continues to work closely with county and state officials to operate in accordance with government orders, recommendations from the Hawaiʻi Department of Health (HDOH), and CDC Guidelines. We will continue to work with the Health and Well-Being Working Group in monitoring the conditions in Hawaiʻi. If needed, we will implement mitigation measures that may include vaccination or testing, expanded requirements for mask wearing, etc.  Please see UH COVID-19 Dashboards and the UH COVID-19 Response Based on CDC Community Level website for up-to-date information regarding our campuses.

If you require a printable copy of these guidelines, contact COVID19@hawaii.edu.

These guidelines are based on a few key assumptions and will continue to be updated as conditions change.

  1. COVID-19 will not be eliminated and there will always be cases in our communities.
  2. COVID-19 variants will continue to evolve in Hawaiʻi. Almost all persons now being hospitalized are those unvaccinated. As trans-Pacific travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, we will likely see more variants that are highly contagious.
  3. Every COVID-19 case cannot be prevented; thus, the focus is on mitigating risk of severe illness, managing the spread of the disease, and mitigating the risk of hospitalizations overloading our health care systems.
  4. The CDC has stated that currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against severe COVID-19 and cites a growing body of evidence that people who are up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations are less likely to have an asymptomatic infection or transmit COVID-19 to others. Additionally, the vaccines currently in use in the United States are effective in reducing hospitalization, and severe illness from COVID-19. Booster doses are strongly encouraged for those who are eligible, as recommended by the FDA and CDC, as evidence shows that boosters are effective in preventing serious illness and hospitalization.
  5. If a student or employee is traveling outside of the State, testing (PCR or antigen, including home tests) is strongly recommended prior to their return to campus.

Last modified: April 19, 2022