This message was shared with the students, faculty and staff of the 10-campus University of Hawaiʻi system on March 3, 2022.
Aloha UH students, faculty and staff,
After a devastating two years of COVID-19, we are now entering a new stage in which we will be coexisting with COVID-19. Immunity has been built up thanks to a combination of vaccinations, boosters and exposure to the virus so that both locally and nationally, COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths are dropping.
With those improvements, we are also seeing a reduction in governmental mandates and restrictions. Hawaiʻi counties are already suspending their requirements to show proof of vaccination or negative tests to access private locations, and the state has announced it will suspend the Safe Travels program for domestic travelers. The indoor mask requirement is a state mandate and will remain in place until at least March 25, as do state vaccination requirements for public employees and visitors to state facilities, as well as masking requirements for public places.
Since many of you have asked: we are not announcing any changes to our UH COVID-19 Guidelines at this time. So our current protocols remain in place until further notice.
As has been done throughout this pandemic, the UH COVID-19 Health and Wellbeing Working Group, a team of UH medical and public health experts, is assessing the latest government guidance and the status of the pandemic to consider recommended updates to our UH COVID-19 Guidelines. We will also be monitoring trends in colleges and universities around the nation.
We greatly appreciate your patience as we digest the state and federal changes and navigate to this next stage of the pandemic. Please know that our top priority is to continue to engage in world-class education and scholarship as we maximize the health and wellbeing of our campus communities. The high levels of vaccination among our students and employees are cause for confidence that a safe future is ahead, and we could not more strongly urge anyone who is not yet up-to-date with a booster to get another free vaccination as soon as you are eligible.
Please monitor your hawaii.edu email for updates. And mahalo again for all that you do. Whether you are learning, teaching, researching or supporting our students and faculty, I commend your amazing resilience over these last two years and thank you for all you have done and continue to do for Hawaiʻi.
E mālama pono,