As COVID cases soar in Hawaii, mask rules return at some events
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Amid rising COVID cases in Hawaii, officials are taking extra precautions, including reinstating masks at certain events.
That includes the University of Hawaii at Manoa, which announced Thursday that masks will be required at commencement ceremonies over the weekend.
The university said the decision to mask-up was made in hopes of keeping everyone at the ceremonies safe.
Three indoor graduation ceremonies will be held at the Stan Sheriff Center — one on Friday and two on Saturday.
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UH said the only time masks will be allowed to be removed is when the graduating student poses for the on-stage photo when receiving their diploma.
Officials also encourage people to wear masks during lei giving outdoors.
State health officials and experts from the UH medical community added that preventive measures should be followed to limit the current rise in cases.
There are also some restrictions on graduation ceremonies on Maui.
The Maui News reported that friends and families will need a ticket to be able to give lei to graduates of Baldwin, Maui, Lahainaluna and King Kekaulike High Schools.
Each graduate will be given a certain number of tickets to distribute.
Meanwhile, Iolani School is bringing back its indoor mask mandate altogether.
In a note sent out to students and parents, head of school Tim Cottrell said there will also be weekly tests of 25% of the campus.
For this weekend’s senior prom, indoor masks will not be required because everyone attending must test before going.
As COVID cases spike on Oahu, the city is expanding its free COVID testing for Oahu residents.
Starting Saturday, the lab at the airport will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Fridays, testing will be available at Honolulu Hale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and at Kapolei Hale on Wednesdays at the same times.
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