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This message was shared with the students, faculty and staff of the 10-campus University of Hawaiʻi system on September 1, 2021.

Aloha to the entire University of Hawaiʻi Community,

Labor Day is coming upon us, normally a time for celebration. We know that people yearn to be together with family and friends, but this weekend is simply not the time for gatherings. Community health conditions across our islands are beyond fragile right now, and the capacity of our health care systems is at the breaking point.

We have a history of COVID-19 surges across the state following holiday weekends and highly publicized examples of irresponsible and unsafe behavior last weekend, some involving UH students, have made the risks clear. So please, please, please—for your sake and for the sake of your families, friends and community members—be sure to comply with all state and county restrictions on gatherings this long weekend.

Mahalo to the vast majority of you who have already been vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are safe—one has been fully approved by the FDA, and a second is close. The vaccines have proven effective, particularly in protecting against COVID-19 hospitalization and death. Getting vaccinated is the single most important step you can take to protect yourself, your ʻohana, your campus and your community.

We urge all of you to upload your vaccination card to LumiSight UH, even if you are not coming to campus at this time. We are now working with State and Honolulu County officials to have LumiSight UH recognized as proof of vaccination for the Safe Access Oʻahu program and will try to do the same as the other counties adopt similar precautions.

UH community members are deeply embedded in our broader communities statewide, and we need to do our part to help end this record surge of cases and to bring this pandemic under control. We can do our part if we all:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Avoid gatherings and maintain distance
  • Wear a mask
  • Stay home if you have symptoms and get tested
  • Observe pandemic hygiene including handwashing

E mālama pono!
David Lassner
UH President

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