University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa students, faculty and staff had an opportunity to get their questions answered regarding the updates to the UH COVID-19 guidelines at a live, 90-minute forum hosted by Provost Michael Bruno on March 30. Bruno was joined by Lee Buenconsejo-Lum, UH Mānoa professor and John A. Burns School of Medicine associate dean for academic affairs.

people standing and smiling at the camera
Provost Michael Bruno, JABSOM Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Lee Buenconsejo-Lum, UH Mānoa spokeswoman Moanikeʻala Nabarro and students from the College of Social Sciences Digital Studios

“We are in a new stage of living with COVID-19,” Bruno said during the forum. “More than 95% of our students, faculty and staff are vaccinated. Suspending the vaccination requirements does not un-vaccinate anyone, and the expectation is that those rates will remain very high moving forward.”

The forum at the College of Social Sciences Digital Studios in the Sinclair Student Success Center was moderated by UH Mānoa spokeswoman Moanikeʻala Nabarro and livestreamed on the UH Mānoa YouTube channel. Topics covered included the latest on the pandemic, mask wearing policies on campus, updates to the vaccination requirements, and the outlook for events on campus, such as commencement.

Buenconsejo-Lum explained why the decision was made to drop some restrictions regarding the university’s COVID-19 guidelines.

“The COVID community level for all of Hawaiʻi is low, that is based on the number of hospitalization beds and the number of cases per 100,000,” she said. “We also have the highest vaccination rates in the state and we’re also continuing with the indoor masking for those instructional spaces.”

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bruno has hosted five livestream forums for the UH Mānoa community. More than 460 people tuned in with an average watch time of 44 minutes, 17 seconds.

Topics include:

  • Update on the COVID-19 pandemic (video)
  • Mask policy (video)
  • Vaccination policy (video)
  • LumiSight UH daily health check (video)
  • Campus events (video)
  • Course delivery (video)
  • Instructional support (video)
  • Other questions (video)