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University of Hawaiʻi returns to indoor mask requirement amid COVID-19 spike

University of Hawaii Manoa Campus
Sophia McCullough

The University of Hawaiʻi returned to an indoor mask requirement Wednesday across its 10-campus system amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the islands.

Those working alone or who are separated by more than 6 feet from others are exempt.

The university said the rule adheres to recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state Department of Health and the school's own medical experts.

The CDC ranks Hawaiʻi fourth in the nation for new coronavirus cases, the university said. The state has a seven-day average rate of 495.9 cases per 100,000 people.

The indoor mask rule will be re-evaluated when COVID-19 transmission declines.

Gov. David Ige lifted Hawaiʻi's statewide indoor mask mandate in late March, citing declining case counts and hospitalizations.

Hawaiʻi COVID-19 data from the Hawaiʻi Department of Health on May 25, 2022.
Hawaiʻi Department of Health
Hawaiʻi COVID-19 data from the Hawaiʻi Department of Health on May 25, 2022.

Just over 8,900 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths were reported across the state in the last week, Hawaiʻi health officials announced Wednesday.

The statewide positivity rate is 18.3%. Kauaʻi County has the highest rate at 24.3% while Hawaiʻi County has the lowest at 16.2%.

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