UPDATE – (4 p.m. on Thursday, September 15)
- The remaining face mask requirements on University of Hawaiʻi campuses and properties will be lifted after Friday, September 16.
- The University says masks are “currently required in classrooms, shared laboratory spaces and confined educational spaces” in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our community. However, COVID-19 is no longer “pervading all that we do”, said UH President David Lassner, who also asked that everyone be respectful of an individual’s choice to on whether or not to continue to wear a face mask.
From UH President David Lassner’s report to the Board of Regents on Thursday, September 15:
“Last month, I told you that we would be recommending, or requiring, masks in instructional spaces across the university for the first four weeks of the semester, and then we would be assessing that. This is now the fourth week. A fourth week of instruction. And we have announced that after tomorrow – and this is based on the recommendations of our own health and wellness experts and consistent with State Department of Health as well as CDC guidelines – the remaining face mask requirements for instructional spaces across the system will be lifted after tomorrow.
“We are still asking that everyone be respectful of individuals choices. Many people continue to wear masks. And also, to abide by signs that may be posted outside individual offices or for specific events and locations that may request masks be worn. And campuses do have the option to require masks in specific venues and events.
“Just to be clear, though, as a matter of public health, regardless of our rules, masking is required for certain individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 or who have contracted COVID-19, and we lay out those details in our guidelines. And we’re also encouraging everyone to sign up for the new bivalent booster that has been tailored for the Omicron variants that are in common circulation today. Flu shots, also, everybody.
“COVID-19 is not gone, but it is not pervading all that we do, as it had… beginning in about two and a half years ago. With the board’s permission, I don’t think we will need a specific covid report every month, and I’d like to just update you if there is something to report on moving forward.”