comscore Kokua Line: When will University of Hawaii announce whether students must get COVID-19 vaccine? | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: When will University of Hawaii announce whether students must get COVID-19 vaccine?

Question: Will the University of Hawaii say by May 1 whether admitted students must get the COVID-19 vaccine to enroll this fall, or to live in a dorm? Other schools have announced and I would prefer my son go to one of them, so he knows his roommates will be vaccinated, but he wants to go to Hawaii. A tuition deposit is due soon.

Answer: The UH system is considering requiring COVID-19 vaccination for students to participate in person this fall, unless they have a medical or religious exemption, but a decision isn’t likely to be announced by Saturday, said Dan Meisenzahl, a UH spokesman.

“As soon as an official decision is made, our community, including prospective students and their parents, will be notified. This issue is a top priority but it has to be done appropriately. Our general counsel office is working diligently with our internal team of health experts and UH leadership,” he said in an email Wednesday.

Meisenzahl pointed us to recent comments by UH Manoa Provost Michael Bruno ( and UH President David Lassner ( for more information about plans for this fall.

As you noted, Saturday is the deadline for prospective students to state their intent to enroll and make a tuition deposit at many U.S. colleges, including UH-Manoa, where you said your son has been accepted as an out-of-state freshman.

Over the past few days, dozens of colleges and universities have announced COVID-19 vaccine mandates for fall enrollment, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, which keeps track on its website, As of noon Wednesday, we counted more than 125 colleges, universities or statewide systems that will require students to be vaccinated to live on campus or participate in campus activities, including taking classes in person.

Most are private institutions, but there are some public ones, including the University of California system, the California State University system, the University of Maryland system, University of Massachusetts, University of Michigan, Rutgers University in New Jersey and Washington State University.

Q: My current Hawaii driver’s license was issued in Honolulu County. Is an appointment necessary to get a duplicate?

A: No, you can order a duplicate online, at www1.

Q: When the automated collection system started for the gray, green, and blue bins, we were told to place the bins at least 5 feet apart. I have seen more and more of these bins placed right next to each other. Did the recommendation change?

A: No, there’s still supposed to be 5 feet clearance in all directions, according to, the website for Honolulu County’s Department of Environmental Services. It says: “Place cart directly at the curb with the handle away from the street. Allow at least 5 feet of clearance from fences, lampposts, fire hydrants, mailboxes, parked cars and other obstructions. Do not block access to or park vehicles in front of the cart.”

The various colored carts are picked up on different days, and none should be left at the curb continuously, according to the department. Each cart should be set out no earlier than 6 p.m. the night before pickup, it says. In other words, they shouldn’t be left lined up at the curb, although there are limited exceptions for people who have trouble getting the carts back and forth from the curb.

Q: I searched for Hawaii’s Safe Travels and a bunch of sites came up. Are they all the same?

A: No. We’re hearing from a growing number of readers who’ve downloaded commercial apps or used commercial websites that are not affiliated with Hawaii’s official Safe Travels program, which allows travelers to skip quarantine upon arrival in Hawaii if they meet certain requirements. The official site is It doesn’t charge any fees to create an account.

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

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