person getting vaccinated

The University of Hawaiʻi announced a mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for employees that will be effective January 3, 2022. Under the new policy, all UH employees, including those who are teleworking, will be required to be fully vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus OR have an approved medical or religious exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Students are also required to be fully vaccinated OR have an approved exemption by January 3, 2022 to be on a UH campus or property. They are required to have their final dose of the vaccine before they are able to register for in-person classes for the spring 2022 semester. Spring registration begins in early November.

The new employee policy states: “the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are highly effective at preventing COVID-19, as well as at preventing serious illness even in those who do contract COVID-19. A fully vaccinated campus community enables the best opportunity for a healthy return to high-quality face-to-face teaching, learning and research.”

“The policy is based on the latest federal and state guidance and made in consultation with the UH President COVID-19 Team and the UH Health and Well-Being working group, made up of UH medical and public health experts,” according to an email sent to employees from the UH Office of Human Resources (OHR).

The policy will replace the COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Policy adopted August 23, 2021 that is effective through January 2, 2022. Employees who do not comply will be subject to progressive discipline, up to and including discharge. Those employees who are partially vaccinated as of January 3, 2022, will be required to provide a regular negative test result until two weeks after their final shot.

Employees who receive an approved medical or religious exemption from COVID-19 vaccination will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test weekly for a PCR test or every three days for an Antigen test. Employees seeking medical or religious exemptions related to the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy should inquire with their human resources office.

The OHR website has been updated with additional guidance related to the January 3 policy.