trees lining McCarthy Mall

This message was shared with the students, faculty and staff of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa on January 31, 2022.

Aloha and welcome back to campus!

We know that many in our community are seeking updated information regarding our COVID-19 protocols now that we have returned to mostly in-person instruction and activities. The following is meant as guidance for our employees and students.

First and perhaps most important, if you test positive for COVID-19 please contact the COVID-19 Response Team (CRT) right away. The CRT can be emailed at Instructors can also inform the CRT with contact information of an individual. The CRT will be following the State Department of Health return-to-work guidance (PDF).

Do not report to a UH campus or facility if any of these apply:

  • You tested positive for COVID-19 and are on home isolation.
  • You have COVID-19 symptoms that are new, worsening, and not attributable to a pre-existing condition.
  • You are immunocompromised and are a close contact of a COVID-19 positive individual.
  • You are not “up-to-date” with your vaccines and are a close contact of a COVID-19 positive individual.
    • You must quarantine for 5 days after date of last exposure
  • You are subject to government-issued or a healthcare provider’s orders to quarantine.

“Up-to-date” means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible. The benefits of boosters are well documented. A “close contact” is defined as being within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more over a 24- hour period (regardless of mask use) or direct contact with secretions from the person with COVID-19.

You may report to a UH campus or facility even if you are a close contact of a known COVID-19 positive case if:

  • You (1) are not immunocompromised, (2) are up to date with your vaccines, and (3) are asymptomatic. All three conditions must apply.
    • If you are not up to date with vaccinations, you must complete the 5 day quarantine period and wear a well-fitting mask for an additional 5 days.
  • You (1) tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days and (2) have recovered (no symptoms). Both conditions must apply.

Close contact tracing steps

If a COVID-19 case is reported within a UH Mānoa campus classroom, the University Health Services COVID-19 Response Team will attempt to identify close contacts within that space.

If there is no seating chart or reliable means by which close contacts can be readily determined, all class attendees will be contacted to inform them of the possible classroom exposure.

In a large classroom, the best means of communication would likely be through email to the class as a whole, with instructions given based upon vaccination status.

Management of close contacts (testing, isolation, etc.) would depend upon whether an individual is “up to date” with COVID-19 vaccination.

The university is following all privacy and confidentiality laws, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Instructors have the ability to temporarily switch instruction from in-person to online while the contact tracing investigation is being conducted, and if the CRT recommends testing. There is no need for formal approval of this temporary change in instruction modality.

Further information on what is necessary to report to campus can be found on the UH COVID-19 Guidelines.

Track the latest developments of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi at the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency data hub.

Mahalo for your assistance in keeping our campus community healthy!
Michael Bruno
UH Mānoa Provost