The 10 campuses of the University of Hawaiʻi will temporarily move many spring 2022 in-person courses to online for the first two weeks of the semester because of the record surge of COVID-19 cases in Hawaiʻi due to the highly contagious Omicron variant.
The first day of spring semester classes remains Monday, Jan. 10 with a full return to scheduled course delivery on Monday, Jan. 24.
UH President David Lassner made the announcement in an email to students, faculty and staff of the UH System. UH joins dozens of other colleges and universities from across the country that are temporarily moving courses online to start the spring semester.
“We are not changing course modalities but merely making this adjustment to maximize the safety of our campuses including those who may be returning from another island or farther,” said Lassner in the announcement. “We are disappointed to take this action but believe it is appropriate to protect the health and safety of our students and employees.”
Additionally, the announcement stated that only courses that can be “effectively taught online” will be impacted. Many lab sections, clinical experiences, Career and Technical Education (CTE) shop courses and studios will continue to be taught safely in-person, which includes physical distancing, wearing masks indoors, daily health screenings and other measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Each campus will determine which courses will be moved online based on considerations including COVID-19 conditions in the area, density of student populations in classrooms, number of students who will be traveling back to campus and instructional needs to keep all students on track to graduate. Students and employees are encouraged to monitor announcements from their campus leaders for campus-specific information.
UH campuses will remain open during the two-week period, including residence halls at UH Mānoa and UH Hilo, and on-campus services which will remain available during normally scheduled hours.
Lassner also urged everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot as soon as they are eligible, typically six months after the final dose. He said that planning is underway to make booster shots part of the UH vaccination requirement for students and employees.
As of Jan. 3, all UH students and employees are required to be fully vaccinated or have a university-approved medical or religious exemption. Those with an approved exemption are required to regularly submit proof of a negative test to the LumiSight UH daily health check app. Students who are 100% online are the only exception to the vaccine requirements.
To be on a UH campus, one must receive an all-clear from the LumiSight UH app, which means you have verified vaccination information, or have an approved exemption and a verified negative test result when you complete the daily health screening. Everyone is also required to wear face masks when indoors and when outdoors near others.