Employee at University of Hawai‘i Maui College Tests Positive COVID-19

April 2, 2020, 3:27 PM HST · Updated April 2, 3:30 PM
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Two University of Hawaiʻi community members have tested positive for COVID-19, including an employee at UH Maui College.  The other involves a graduate student at UH Mānoa.

University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner provided the information in a message today, shared with the students, faculty and staff of the 10-campus system.

The last time the UH Maui College employee was on campus was for a brief time on March 30 to pick up personal items, said Lassner.

“The employee practiced safe social distancing with the handful of employees that they came into contact with and did not come into contact with students. The last time the individual was on campus before March 30 was on March 19, the week of spring break, when classes were out,” Lassner wrote.

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He reports that both are in good condition, in isolation at home and in regular contact with health care providers.

As for the Oahu case, the last time the student was at the UH Mānoa campus was Saturday, March 14, the weekend spring break started, and “was rarely on campus this semester,” according to Lassner.  “It is not known if the individual was infectious on March 14, now more than 14 days ago. However, this notice is being issued out of an abundance of caution,” he said.

The Hawaiʻi Department of Health (HDOH) is aware of both cases and has the lead responsibility for contact tracing. HDOH is working closely with UH and the individuals to reach anyone that may be at risk from close contact. Anyone who is notified should follow HDOH guidance. If they become ill, they should seek medical attention, contact HDOH and isolate themselves to prevent others from exposure.

“The risk of transmission for the general UH community from both of these cases is considered to be low, especially given the health and safety measures the university has taken to protect our students, employees and the community by limiting the spread of COVID-19,” said Lassner who provided the following precautions that were implemented:

  • The 10-campus system announced March 12 the move to the online delivery of all courses beginning March 23 after the return from the weeklong spring break.
  • UH employees were instructed to work from home, if at all possible, beginning March 16
  • UH announced on March 20 that all campuses are closed to the public

“This global pandemic is one of the greatest challenges our society has faced in our lifetimes. The UHcommunity continues to rise to the challenge each and every day. Please continue to take care of yourselves, your families and each other,” said Lassner.

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