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The following Staff Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are for all UH Mānoa employees. The FAQs will be updated as the COVID-19 pandemic and related guidance evolve during the semester. If your question is not answered, please email covid19@hawaii.edu.

On this page

Health and Well-Being

On-Campus Management of an Exposed or Diagnosed Individual

Campus Services

Business Process

Space Planning

Academic topics

Research topics


Health and Well-Being

What protocols are in place before coming to campus?

First and foremost, stay home if you are sick.

In order to be on campus, students, along with all employees and campus visitors, are required to use a daily, check-in mobile app (Android or iOS) or web form that monitors/screens for COVID-19 symptoms called LumiSight UH. Checking in daily using the LumiSight UH app is simple and will take less than 30 seconds. The user will review the list of symptoms and possible exposure to COVID-19 in the app, answer “yes” or “no,” and the app will indicate if they are cleared to come to campus.

If an employee or student has tested positive for COVID-19, they are not allowed to return to campus until they are cleared by the UH Mānoa COVID-19 Resource Team at the University Health Services Mānoa.

Do I need to be screened/tested?

Employees are required to notify the university right away if you have tested positive for COVID-19, come into close contact with someone who tested positive or were told to quarantine or isolate. Stay home and notify your immediate supervisor and the UH Mānoa COVID-19 Resource Team at the University Health Services Mānoa as soon as possible at (808) 956-8965 or uhsm.covid@hawaii.edu.

You are not allowed to return to campus until you are cleared by University Health Services Mānoa.

Do I have to wear a face mask?

All employees, along with students and visitors, must wear face masks while on campus (and on off-campus UH Mānoa facilities), indoors and outdoors. This includes classrooms, laboratories, offices, shops and common spaces such as hallways, elevators and outdoor walkways. You are required to wear face masks outdoors, especially when physical distancing is not possible.

You are not required to wear a face mask while working in isolation, (for instance, if you are working in a room by yourself) or if you have a medical condition or disability where wearing a face mask poses a health or safety risk. Reasonable accommodations will be made in those instances.

Are mental health services available?

Faculty and staff can contact the UH Employee Assistance Program for counseling services at:

Worklife Hawaiʻi: (808) 543-8445
Toll free – 24/7: (800) 994-3571

Additional Crisis Services

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) – 24/7 crisis line
Toll free (800) 273-8255
NSPL website

Crisis Text Line – 24/7 crisis text line
Text ALOHA to 741741
Crisis Text Hotline website

If you prefer texting over talking or are deaf or hard of hearing, the Crisis Text Line connects you with a crisis counselor who will invite you to share at your own pace.

Hawaiʻi CARES (Coordinated Access Resource Entry System)
Call (808) 832-3100 (Oahu) or (800) 753-6879 for neighbor islands
CARES website

When you call Hawaiʻi CARES, you will be connected with a local crisis counselor who will ask a bit about you, what your needs are, and how they can help.


On-Campus Management of an Exposed or Diagnosed Individual

If someone is believed to have symptoms that may be COVID-19 related, what should they do?

Employees are required to notify the university right away if you test positive for COVID-19, suspect that you have the virus, were told to quarantine or isolate by a health official or health care provider, or have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Report all positive and suspected cases of COVID-19 to the UH Mānoa COVID-19 Resource Team at University Health Services Mānoa (808) 956-8965 or uhsm.covid@hawaii.edu.

Will employees and students be notified if someone tests positive?

UH Mānoa will not publicly disclose the identity of anyone who tests positive, which is against multiple federal laws. Positive cases reported on campus (Update September 1) in the previous 14 days will be announced via email that will balance patient privacy with the health and safety of everyone.

Will UH ensure my confidentiality if I have/am exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19?

The university follows all laws that protect the privacy of employees and students, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). No personal identifiable data will be collected by the daily health check-in app.

The university will not disclose the identity of any employee or student who is exposed, diagnosed with, or is suspected of having COVID-19, except for those who need to be notified, such as the Hawaiʻi Department of Health. All positive cases must be reported to the health department, which is responsible for the state’s COVID-19 pandemic response, including contacting close contacts of infected individuals.

Will UH provide testing for faculty/staff/students?

No. Go to https//www.hah.org/ and click on “COVID-19 Screening Sites” to find a test location and each location’s requirements. University Health Services Mānoa is always available to assist students with their health and medical needs.

How will you ensure these health and well-being guidelines are up-to-date?

The guidelines will be updated based on the status of the pandemic and when government guidance is updated. All major changes in guidance will be immediately and broadly communicated to the campus community via email announcements and other channels.

Are we providing help for students who have special needs or other disabilities, or are immunocompromised?

Please contact the KOKUA Program at (808) 956-7511 or kokua@hawaii.edu for assistance.


Campus Services

What dining services will be available?

All Mānoa Dining Services locations, including both resident dining halls, along with Paradise Palms and some food trucks will be available for the fall 2020 semester.

Dining locations include Gateway Care and Hale Aloha dining halls, the Market @ Noelani Apartments, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Simply to Go, Campus Center Food Court, Stir Fresh, Pizza Hut and Ba-Le. More information on Manoa Dining Services.

For more information about food service at Paradise Palms and all food trucks on campus, visit UH Mānoa Food Services.

Will the Campus Center / UH Bookstore be open?

The Campus Center and UH Bookstore will be open with dining and food services modified as seating will be limited and self-serve drink stations will no longer be available. Steps have been taken to limit face-to-face contact or exchanges and to minimize pedestrian traffic congestion including signage, tape, etc. to keep 6-foot spacing for people in line to maintain appropriate distance. Other student services may be done virtually or by appointment.

Go to the Campus Center and UH Bookstore websites for hours and information. Online purchasing is encouraged at the bookstore.

Walk-ins will be accepted, but the number of customers in the bookstore will be limited due to physical distancing requirements. Please be prepared to wait outside, if needed. Shopping will be limited to 15 minutes per customer, so please come prepared with a list of items needed. Counter-service will be provided for textbook servicing.

What safety procedures will be in place for people to use the Campus Center?

Before coming to Campus Center, students, employees and campus visitors are required to follow all required UH COVID-19 guidelines including use of the daily health check-in app, mandatory face covering on campus, practicing safe physical distancing whenever possible and washing hands regularly.

To adhere to 6 foot, safe physical distancing, Campus Center reduced the available public and dining room seating. Signage is posted to keep 6-foot spacing for people in line at food services.

Campus Center services are now online and will be done virtually or by appointment, wherever possible, to limit face-to-face contact or exchanges.

Will the campus shuttle be running?

Campus shuttle will not be running in the fall 2020 semester.

Will I be able to use the Warrior Recreation Center?

The Warrior Recreation Center will follow state and county guidelines regarding gyms and fitness centers. The WRC will be closed, beginning Thursday, August 27th, to comply with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Governor David Ige’s stay-at-home / work-from-home order. The center will reopen once the order is lifted. The latest information and updates can be found on the center’s Instagram page. An Instagram account is not needed to view the page.


Business Process

What are the critical operations of UH campuses at this time?

Critical aspects of UH business operations will continue as outlined in the interim COVID-19 guidelines. These include: health services, food services that are available to-go, public safety, mail services, some financial services, residence halls, janitorial and maintenance services, limited library services, certain technology support and certain scientific research.

Visit UH Mānoa’s COVID-19 page for more information.

What resources are available to assist staff and faculty?

The COVID-19 Guidelines for the 10-campus system and each campus’s individual plans can be found at the UH COVID-19 resource website that includes additional information for coping with stress and mental health resources.

Please check your email daily for information including regular updates and reminders from the UH system and your respective campuses. You can also stay informed by regularly checking UHNews.org and UH’s social media sites.

Contact your supervisor, HR representative or email covid19@hawaii.edu if you have questions or concerns.

What resources are available for employees who are working remotely or for managing a remote workforce?

Employees and managers can find a quick resource guide to supporting telework arrangements at the Office of Human Resources (UH log in required). Decisions on working arrangements will continue to be made at the unit level. Employees and supervisors are requested to continue and maximize the use of the COVID-19-work-from-home option indefinitely whenever the necessary work of the university can be done from off-campus. Supervisors should work with the HR representative in their unit, as needed, for questions on updated procedures related to COVID-19.

A more formalized telework policy that will allow for the continuation of work-from-home arrangements for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic will be provided in the coming week, with a target implementation on September 1.

Can I purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and coronavirus safety supplies through my department/office?

Please work directly with your supervisor to purchase PPE and supplies for your department as determined as necessary and appropriate for your operations. Only cleaning and disinfection products approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and the CDC for use against COVID-19 are allowed.

Will there be online COVID-19 training for UH employees available ahead of the fall semester?

Yes, all employees will be required to view and complete the mandatory online UH COVID-19 safety training program, produced in accordance with the State of Hawaiʻi Occupational Safety and Health requirements (employees will be notified when the program is ready, which is expected before Monday, August 17). The training includes a general overview of COVID-19 control measures to prevent or minimize transmission, and other specific procedures/resources for UH Mānoa employees to stay safe on campus.

This video is not intended to replace job or task-specific training in relation to COVID-19, that is more appropriately addressed at the unit level. Updated information will be provided as the pandemic evolves.

Also, please take the time to review information including interim COVID-19 guidelines. The guidelines are interim only and are subject to revision, until consultation is completed with stakeholders.

Can I hire to fill a vacant position in my department?

As of July 23, 2020, there is a freeze on all new UH hires into regular (permanent or temporary) positions using non-extramural funds. This includes UH General Funds (GF), Tuition and Fee Special Funds (TFSF), Research and Training Revolving Funds (RTRF) and other special and revolving funds. Graduate Assistants are exempt from this freeze but must be part of hiring plans approved by a UH Officer. Also exempt are new hires for whom a formal offer was extended and formally accepted in writing on or before the initial freeze on March 24, 2020. Only the UH President can approve exceptions to this freeze.

How will New Employee Orientation be handled during this time period?

Video conferencing shall be utilized to orient a new employee where possible and NeoGov electronic onboarding will enable electronic submission of most requirements other than I-9 forms. Regardless of the method used, continue to notify the appropriate union of the new hire orientation. See the OHR website for further instructions.

How do I forward my mail? Can I have department mail delivered off campus?

See Campus Mail Services for more info on how they are supporting departments at this time.

If I am working remotely, can I suspend my payroll parking deductions for the fall semester?

Employees may return their parking permit for a refund and utilize the flat rate parking at the parking structure or the hourly visitor parking upper campus as needed. Employees who forgo their parking permit can later request one if they find that they need to park on campus more often, although they are not guaranteed the same zone. Employees should contact their department parking coordinators regarding either returning or purchasing their permits because of deadlines for permitting and payroll deductions. Please contact UH Mānoa Commuter Services for more information.

What specific operations will be moved to paperless workflow at this time?

Fiscal, human resources, and student/faculty facing forms. Other forms have been identified by the System Team and the UH Mānoa Academic Personnel Forms Committee. Work by multiple teams will migrate workflows from paper to paperless in the priority order identified by the various functional team leads.

What is the expected date for operations to transfer to a paperless format?

This will be an on-going effort extending beyond Fall 2020. It is expected that at least a few of the teams will complete new paperless workflows in time for the start of the Fall 2020 semester, and that the transfer to paperless workflows will be an ongoing process.

Will the Office of Human Resources and other fiscal and budget offices maintain in-person operations?

Yes, by appointment only. No walk-ins will be allowed. To arrange a meeting or to drop off materials, please contact your department’s designated administrative/fiscal representative. Meetings normally held in-person should be held virtually or by phone, whenever possible.

Will departments under the Office of Student Affairs such as Financial Aid Services or Office of the Registrar also transition to a paperless format?

Currently, Financial Aid Services and the Office of the Registrar are working remotely. Please check their respective websites for updated information.

Students have the option to submit financial aid documents using UH File drop. UH File Drop offers students the convenience of safely and securely uploading documents to our office for review and processing. Inquiries can be sent to: finaid@hawaii.edu.

The Office of the Registrar hosts a virtual front desk, Monday and Wednesday 8 a.m.–4 p.m. and Tuesday, 8 a.m.–12 noon.

Please expect additional time to complete requests and plan ahead for your registration and records needs.

How can I access the online forms for my respective area of interest?

Visit the Financial Management Office website or the Office of Human Resources websites to view accessible forms.

I am signed up to receive a paper paycheck, will this be affected? Am I able to pick up my paycheck or reimbursement in-person?

Please check with your departmental personnel officer for paycheck and/or reimbursement distribution. Employees are encouraged to utilize the ePayment web interface (UH log in required) to receive their reimbursements electronically via direct deposit. For more information about what you need to do to ensure your direct deposit is properly set up, visit the Office of Human Resources webpage.

How will procurement, purchase orders, contracts and PCard purchases be handled through this new workflow? Will there be delays in processing?

Visit the Financial Management Office website for updates on procedures and forms. As of July 23, 2020, there is a freeze on all equipment purchases, purchase orders over $25,000, and all vehicle purchases with non-extramural funds. There is also a freeze on all new contracts over $25,000 with non-extramural funds. Contract renewals are not frozen but should be carefully scrutinized to determine if they are absolutely necessary at this time.

Only the UH President can approve exceptions to this freeze. Expenditures with extramural funds are explicitly exempt, as UH extramural funds are a welcomed and significant source of economic stimulus for Hawaiʻi. Expenditures with extramural funds must be consistent with applicable contracts, grants and guidelines.

How will operations that cannot transition to a paperless workflow be handled?

For more information, please visit the Financial Management Office website.

Are there any special risks we should be aware of in regards to fraud/phishing?

As you work to keep business going, be cautious about phishing or other fraudulent inquiries. If you encounter suspicious activity, forward to help@hawaii.edu for confirmation before taking action. Learn more about phishing from ITS.

Who can help my department faculty or staff with questions?

For questions or assistance, please contact your designated fiscal or administrative officer. They are available Monday through Friday during normal business hours to answer any questions or can host a remote meeting.

When modified travel restrictions for the State of Hawaiʻi are lifted in the future, is business travel allowed for faculty and staff?

Please check the UH System COVID-19 Travel updates page for current information on conditions for travel. As of July 23, 2020, there is a freeze on all out-of-state and inter-island travel with UH General Funds or Tuition and Fee Special Funds (TFSF) funds. Only the UH President (out-of-state travel) or UH Officer (inter-island travel) can approve exceptions to this freeze. If you have previously scheduled UH-sponsored travel, contact your supervisor and/or fiscal administrator for guidance on canceling or postponing travel. Interisland travel is subject to all normal university procedures and approvals, as well as all conditions imposed by the State relating to airline transport within Hawaiʻi.

It is important to remember that the COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation. If you are considering travel, everyone is strongly encouraged to follow the travel recommendations of the CDC, the U.S. State Department and the Hawaiʻi Department of Health.


Space Planning

If my co-worker tested positive for COVID-19, what happens to our work space?

Campuses are responsible for establishing protocols based on extensive federal guidance to clean and disinfect areas that may have been infected by someone who tested positive for COVID-19. These could include an office, classroom and/or bathroom.

A possibly infected area must be closed off for least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also says cleaning and disinfecting is not necessary if an area can be closed for seven days or more.

I need to use equipment/a room that is closed. Who do I contact?

Do not enter rooms until they are officially opened. Please contact your supervisor regarding equipment or spaces that you need and plan ahead, whenever possible.

Who do I contact if a room/space isn’t being cleaned?

Please let your supervisor know, and they can contact the appropriate facilities staff member. You can also email COVID19@hawaii.edu and please include the name of the building, room number, date and time.

Who do I contact if the hand sanitizer dispenser is empty?

There should be signage on the dispenser that has the contact to call or email. If there is no information, please reach out to the unit where that dispenser is located. You can also email COVID19@hawaii.edu and please include the name of the building, room number, date and time.

Can I enter a room while it is being cleaned?

Please do not enter rooms until staff are finished cleaning and disinfecting.

Can I use my own cleaning supplies to wipe off equipment before using it?

Yes, as long as they are non-toxic and do not pose a hazard to yourself or others. Only cleaning and disinfection products approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use against COVID-19 are allowed.

What do I do if I see someone not wearing a mask or wearing it improperly?

Please do not confront another person. If you are uncomfortable, move away if possible. The individual may have a medical condition or disability that requires them to refrain from using a mask.

Where did these guidelines come from?

These guidelines were created with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Hawaiʻi State Department of Health guidance with input from the UH Mānoa COVID Health Committee. They will be updated if/when the situation regarding COVID-19 changes.


Academic Topics

How will courses be delivered in fall 2020?

As of August 17, of the 3,344 scheduled fall courses, 81.6 percent are scheduled to be online (2,711 courses, asynchronous, synchronous, or a combination of asynchronous and synchronous), 12.9 percent hybrid (429 courses, combination of in-person and online instruction) and 5.5 percent in-person (184 courses, physically present in a classroom or other education space).

What will in-person classrooms be like?

Each classroom and teaching laboratory has been reconfigured to ensure 6 feet of physical distancing. Everyone is required to wear a face covering, and each classroom and lab is equipped with hand sanitizer stations and sanitizing wipes. Rooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily.

What if course delivery changes during fall 2020?

A course will never change from online to hybrid, or in-person or from hybrid to entirely in-person. The university is prepared to go entirely online depending on the status of the pandemic. All students should be aware and prepared for that possibility.

How many students will be in a class at once?

It depends on the size of the room. Each classroom and teaching laboratory has been reconfigured to ensure 6 feet of social distancing, which has reduced room capacity by more than 50 percent. This has led to a significant increase in online (81.6 percent) and partially online (12.9 percent) courses compared to a normal semester.


Research Topics

Where can I find the Research Working Group guidance?

The Research Continuity and Planning for COVID-19 at UH Mānoa document provides guidance.

Are services provided by the UH Office of Research Services (ORS) still open on campus?

All UH System research support services at ORS remain open. For the latest status, visit ORS research and continuity planning website.

How will ORS grant awards be awarded and processed?

ORS continues to operate on a normal schedule. You may check on the status by accessing myGrant. myGRANT is the UH System’s personalized version of the Kuali Foundation’s open source research administration software, Kuali Coeus (KC). KC provides proposal development, pre- and post-award administration and research compliance while allowing for future integration with other administrative systems.

For updates on federal sponsor policies in response to COVID-19, ORS directs you to the Council on Governmental Relations COVID-19 web page. In cases where the sponsor defers to institutional policies and procedures, you may contact Dawn Kim at dawnkim@hawaii.edu or ORS Financial Compliance at orscomp@hawaii.edu for additional guidance. Inquiries will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Our faculty have already been granted Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. However, since the research involves human subjects, what changes need to be made?

In restarting human research involving face-to-face interactions, researchers are advised to consult the UH Human Studies Program (HSP) website for updated UH IRB requirements. Also, the UH HSP requires researchers to review their active protocols and submit a “Modification form” including a Safety Plan Form (see IRB requirements).

What precautions should be taken now in case the COVID-19 outbreak becomes more severe in Hawaiʻi?

Researchers should begin scenario planning for the possibility that research and campus operations need to switch to reduced or remote staffing, if significant numbers of research or research support personnel become ill, or large-scale self-isolation is required. Visit the UH Mānoa Health and Well-Being website for guidance.

What should be done to ensure the safety of researchers in our laboratory and other research facilities?

For guidance on preparing your research laboratory and support shop/facility back online or to evaluate your continued research, please refer to specific guidelines listed in the “Research Laboratories” section of the“Research Continuity and Planning for COVID-19 at UH Mānoa” document.

What type of face covering should be worn in a lab? Can those in the lab wear a cloth mask?

Yes, face coverings are required in UH buildings at all times in addition to maintaining a six-foot distance from others. Cloth face coverings are generally adequate for most laboratory activities though materials may differ based on specific commodities such as when working in a BSL 2 lab or with pyrophoric materials. Contact your EHSO Lab Safety or Biosafety representative for commodity-specific questions.

Do faculty have permission from UH to conduct field research during COVID-19?

Yes. Field research activities that are short duration and local are allowed to continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in addition to normal safety considerations, each research group must carefully consider COVID-19 related risks and plan accordingly to minimize the potential spread of the virus during field activities. Additional considerations beyond those provided here will need to be considered for extended field operations (i.e., field operations that extend beyond 2–3 days). In general, where field personnel will be in remote, extended field conditions and access to medical care is limited, employees may need to quarantine for two weeks before an operation. Testing for COVID-19 prior to extended field operations may also be indicated. If followed, these steps would eliminate the need for social distancing and face masks in the field.

Is a COVID-19 risk assessment required for teams to conduct research?

No, but it is highly recommended. To create a safe work environment for supervisors and supervisees, you are encouraged to utilize the Optional Risk Assessment worksheet for each individual project.

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