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UH lifts remaining mask rules for all campuses

The Maui News

Face masks will no longer be required on University of Hawaii campuses and properties starting Saturday, UH has announced.

Masks are still currently required in classrooms, shared laboratory spaces and confined educational spaces to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Mahalo for all you have done to elevate our collective understanding of personal safety during this devastating pandemic,” UH President David Lassner said in an email Friday to the 10-campus system announcing the update. “You have demonstrated our capacity to look beyond ourselves and to care for others.”

The decision to lift the remaining mask requirements was based on the recommendation of UH medical and public health experts as well as the latest federal and state guidance, according to a UH news release. The rate of COVID-19 community transmission is no longer disrupting daily life, most infections now are not life threatening and many people are recovering without hospitalization, the news release said.

Statewide, Hawaii has been averaging 190 new cases a day and a test positivity rate of 6.4 percent, according to state Department of Health data as of last week Wednesday. Honolulu County is averaging 132 new daily cases, the most in the state, followed by Maui and Hawaii counties at 22 new daily cases and Kauai County at 13. DOH updates the data every Wednesday.

“UH will continue to remain highly vigilant, and COVID-19 restrictions may be quickly reinstated, if conditions change and warrant stronger measures,” said Lassner in the announcement.

Lassner also asked that everyone be respectful of an individual’s choice to continue to wear a face mask and abide by signs that may be posted outside individual offices requesting that masks be worn for the protection of others.

Masking is still strongly encouraged in crowded indoor spaces and required for those who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or have contracted the virus. For more information, visit hawaii.edu/covid19-guidelines/personal-safety-practices/#face-coverings.

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