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University of Hawaii extends online learning by a week amid COVID surge

  • STAR-ADVERTISER FEBRUARY 2020
                                The University of Hawaii’s 10 campuses are extending online learning by a week because of the state’s record-high case numbers in the COVID-19 omicron variant surge. Shown here, people walk on the UH-Manoa campus in 2020 just before the pandemic shut down the state.

    STAR-ADVERTISER FEBRUARY 2020

    The University of Hawaii’s 10 campuses are extending online learning by a week because of the state’s record-high case numbers in the COVID-19 omicron variant surge. Shown here, people walk on the UH-Manoa campus in 2020 just before the pandemic shut down the state.

The University of Hawaii’s 10 campuses are extending online learning by a week because of the state’s record-high case numbers in the COVID-19 omicron variant surge.

“Spring 2022 courses that were shifted online for the first two weeks of the semester will remain online for one more week and return to their originally scheduled course delivery mode (in-person or hybrid) on Monday, January 31,” UH President David Lassner said in a letter today to students, faculty and staff.

“While we are cautiously optimistic that COVID-19 hospitalizations in Hawaii are starting to plateau, we experienced the highest case count of the pandemic today, and believe that it is prudent to allow the online shift to continue for one extra week. We do not expect to revisit the January 31 restart date, which is consistent with many other higher education institutions.”

Lassner said all classes currently meeting in person should continue to do so.

Essential programs and services will continue to be accessible in-person as well as online. Faculty who are teaching classes online now that are scheduled to meet in person can opt to begin in-person instruction on Jan. 24, with no formal approval required.

“However, these faculty need to contact their students as soon as possible to provide information about how students who cannot attend class or may have delayed their return to campus can participate,” Lassner said.

Lassner encouraged all members of the UH community to get fully vaccinated and take a booster shot when appropriate.

“The requirements for vaccination, soon to include booster shots for future semesters, or regular testing for those with approved exemptions, along with the updated UH COVID-19 Guidelines will create a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff,” he said.

Meanwhile Chaminade University is sticking with its plan to keep learning virtual for the first three weeks, coming back Jan. 31 as well, a spokesman said.

At Brigham Young University-Hawaii no changes from in-person instruction are planned at this time, a spokeswoman said. BYUH students are required to be fully vaccinated and get a booster shot when eligible, she said, and 98% of the community of students, faculty and staff have received their COVID-19 shots.

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