(BIVN) – Two large departments in the State of Hawaiʻi on Monday updated their policies on wearing masks as protection against COVID-19 transmission.
First the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation provided this news release concerning state airports:
Following the court decision issued by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Biden Administration officials have advised that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time. This means wearing masks on airport property is no longer required.
Federal agencies are reviewing the decision and will provide future guidance so there may be further updates. In the meantime, the CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.
In addition, the Hawaiʻi Department of Education provided this information to parents and guardians in a letter from Interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi:
As we near the end of the school year, I would like to thank you for your continuous support and cooperation throughout this challenging year. Keeping our schools open and safe has been a collective effort and I am grateful for all that our families have done for our school communities.
I understand that there are different perspectives regarding the Hawai‘i State Department of Education’s (HIDOE) indoor masking in schools. Here are the latest updates:
● While we are eager to return to normalcy, we will continue to implement universal indoor masking in schools through Friday, May 27, 2022 (last day for teachers).
● With extensive scientific literature supporting the effectiveness of masking to reduce COVID-19 transmission in schools and other settings, the state Department of Health (DOH) still highly recommends that masks be worn indoors at all times at schools and emphasizes layered mitigation measures to keep our schools, students and staff safe.
● Under DOH’s guidance for K-12 schools, individual close contact identification, and notification and quarantine of in-school exposures is no longer required — only if universal indoor masking is implemented. This major shift in quarantine guidance aligns with our ongoing priority of maintaining in-person learning students.
● Please stay tuned for updated health and safety guidance for our HIDOE summer programs, which will be shared at a later date.
We have been working very closely with DOH since the beginning of the pandemic and this partnership has kept our schools safe and open for in-person learning through the height of the pandemic. As we cautiously transition back to normal, we continue to rely on the guidance and expertise of our local health officials.
Mahalo again for your continued support of our Hawai‘i public schools.