On August 5, 2021, the University of Hawaiʻi announced that the COVID-19 vaccination would be part of the health clearance requirements for students for fall 2021.

Who is required to get vaccinated?

The COVID-19 vaccination has been added to the University of Hawaiʻi student health clearance requirements as of the fall 2021 semester. To be on a UH campus or property, students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As with existing health clearance requirements, students will be able to request exemptions for medical and religious reasons for spring 2022 semester. Students are required to load their vaccination information to the LumiSight UH app. You need a green “You may report to campus” status with the current date on the app to be on campus.

Instructions to upload vaccination information: LumiSight UH web app or LumiSight UH app on iPhones. For assistance with LumiSight UH, check the LumiSight UH FAQ or contact help@hawaii.edu.

Will there be exceptions?

Yes, but exemptions are only required for students who live in on-campus housing and a handful of other programs.

For fall 2021, unvaccinated students and employees must submit a weekly negative COVID-19 test, which can be uploaded to LumiSight UH. Information on LumiSight UH is available from ITS, and testing locations are available from UH News. There are no exemptions for weekly testing.

When does the vaccine requirement begin?

The COVID-19 vaccination requirement is in effect as of August 5, 2021.

People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen). This guidance can also be applied to COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (e.g., AstraZeneca/Oxford or Sinopharm).

Will employees be required to get vaccinated?

UH employees are required to either be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test weekly. Employees are required to upload their vaccination information or a COVID-19 negative test result weekly to the LumiSight UH daily health check app. Everyone needs a green “You may report to campus” status with the current date on the app to be on campus. Employees who are unable to access LumiSight UH may come to campus to complete the check in.

Instructions to upload vaccination information: LumiSight UH web app or LumiSight UH app on iPhones. For assistance with LumiSight UH, check the LumiSight UH FAQ or contact help@hawaii.edu.

What if the vaccine I received has not been fully licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration?

All vaccines authorized under Emergency Use Authorization are highly effective. The FDA and CDC continue to routinely monitor these. Proof of full vaccination with the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson vaccine, or other vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (i.e., Astra-Zeneca/Oxford or Sinopharm) will meet this requirement.

Why is UH requiring the COVID-19 vaccine?

A fully vaccinated community enables the best opportunity for a healthy return to high-quality face-to-face teaching, learning and research. The requirement may also allow us to reduce or remove some COVID-19 restrictions, such as reducing the physical distancing requirements or face covering requirements, which would be a significant step toward a full reopening of campuses.

Why is UH making the announcement before all of the details have been finalized?

To provide assurance to students and their families that the return to fall semester will be made as safe as possible and to provide students the opportunity to be fully vaccinated well before the start of the fall semester.

Is UH the only university requiring COVID-19 vaccinations?

Hundreds of universities and colleges are requiring students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and more are expected to mandate the requirement leading up to the fall semester. The American College Health Association recommends COVID-19 vaccination requirements for all on-campus college and university students for fall semester 2021.

What happens to students who refuse to get vaccinated?

Unvaccinated UH students will still be welcome and may enroll in online courses. Online learners will also be able to engage with student services online, as they have over the past year, and they will be able to participate in student activities virtually.

For fall 2021, unvaccinated students and employees must submit a weekly negative COVID-19 test, which can be uploaded to LumiSight UH. Information on LumiSight UH is available from ITS, and testing locations are available from UH News. There are no exemptions for weekly testing.

What about students who are not vaccinated and just recovered from COVID-19? Can they still come to campus even though they are likely to test positive for the virus for up to 90 days?

There is an exemption for unvaccinated students who recently contracted and recovered from COVID-19. In the 90 day period from the point of positive test result, they will likely test positive for up to 90 days. The university encourages these students to get vaccinated (which could be done as soon as 10 days after the date of first symptoms/positive test, if they have no fever, and symptoms are resolved). After the 90 day period, they will be required to test weekly until fully vaccinated for the remainder of the fall 2021 semester. Beginning in spring 2022, students are required to either be vaccinated or apply for a medical and religious exemption. There will be no testing option for unvaccinated students.

Submit your form to the unit or person on your campus where positive COVID-19 cases are reported.

What about students who are fully vaccinated but tested positive for COVID-19?

If you have been fully vaccinated but have recently tested positive (within the last 90 days) for COVID-19, you may not return to campus or attend any in-person activities until you are officially cleared by your medical provider and should isolate for the recommended duration as advised by your medical provider.

Submit your form to the unit or person on your campus where positive COVID-19 cases are reported.

How will UH confirm that students or employees were vaccinated?

Vaccination information or a weekly COVID-19 negative test result can be uploaded to the LumiSight UH daily health check app. Everyone needs a green “You may report to campus” status with the current date on the app to be on campus. Employees who are unable to access LumiSight UH may come to campus to complete the check in.

Instructions to upload vaccination information: LumiSight UH web app or LumiSight UH app on iPhones. For assistance with LumiSight UH, check the LumiSight UH FAQ or contact help@hawaii.edu..

Will students still be required to wear face masks while on campus?

Everyone on campus must wear face masks indoors. This includes classrooms, laboratories, offices, shops and common spaces such as hallways and elevators. Face masks with a clear window over the mouth are allowed if visible facial features are necessary to support learning or an activity.

Classroom and teaching laboratories are considered public spaces, and masks should be worn at all times if there is more than one person in the room.

Face masks are not required when outdoors, including lanais/patios. They are strongly recommended in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others.

You are not required to wear a face mask while working in isolation, (e.g., if you are working in a room by yourself) or if you have a medical condition or disability and wearing a face mask poses a health or safety risk. Reasonable accommodations will be made in those instances.

Will students and employees be required to practice 6-foot social distancing while on campus?

For the fall 2021 semester, required physical distancing has been reduced from 6 feet to 3 feet. Physical distancing requirements will adhere to CDC and HDOH guidelines and requirements, which will be influenced by the state of the pandemic and scientific understanding of the virus and disease. Requiring all persons to wear masks indoors and requiring all students on campus to be vaccinated will directly support our gradual return to full capacity.

Will students and employees be required to use the LumiSight UH daily health check app?

Daily health checks remain a best practice in keeping individuals and communities safe. The expectation is that the daily LumiSight UH health check app will still be required in fall 2021 for anyone coming to a UH campus.

Vaccination and weekly negative test information can be uploaded to the LumiSight UH daily health check app.

How will UH screen visitors to campus to make sure they are vaccinated?

All visitors to campus are required to use the LumiSight UH daily health check app, including the upload of a vaccination card or a negative PCR test result within seven days, and receive a “You may report to campus” status with the current date when coming onto campus.

Will UH provide access to COVID-19 vaccines on campus?

There will be vaccination opportunities over the summer and at the beginning of fall for members of the UH community who arrive from locations where they may not have been able to be vaccinated.

What if my second shot is scheduled for after classes start?

Students are required to be fully vaccinated before being allowed on campus. Please coordinate accommodations with your instructors and academic advisors until you are cleared to come to campus.

How will UH screen spectators for sporting and other campus events such as concerts and theatrical performances?

All government and university restrictions and guidance regarding indoor and outdoor public events will be strictly followed.

Will students who receive an exemption for medical or religious reasons be allowed to live in student housing?

Contact UH Mānoa or UH Hilo housing.

Will students be asked of proof of vaccination while on campus by faculty, staff, etc.?

Students and employees can be asked to show their green “You may report to campus” status with the current date on the LumiSight UH daily health check app to reflect the confirmation that they have completed the required daily check-in, AND are fully vaccinated, or have a current negative COVID-19 test result.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine requirement be permanent?

The requirement will be revisited annually based on pandemic conditions and medical guidance.

What if my classes are all online? Do I still need to be vaccinated?

No, but you will not be allowed on campus unless you are fully vaccinated.

If I decide not to get the vaccine, will there be an online option for every course offered?

No, not all courses will be available online. Please work with your academic advisor and consider getting vaccinated.

I had COVID-19, do I still need to be vaccinated?

Yes. Vaccination provides greater protection against infection than simply recovering from COVID-19 and is safe even for those who previously contracted the disease.

Where can I get vaccinated?

Find a vaccination location near you.

Where can I ask other questions?

You can email covid19@hawaii.edu.

Last modified: September 2, 2021