UH Hilo students respond to lifting of face mask requirements

“It feels great to be going back to normal again!” says kinesiology major Brendé Yoshizumi, a UH Hilo Vulcan on the women’s soccer team.

Group of students at table on the library lanai.
Students gather on the Library Lanai at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, Sept. 23, 2022. Remaining face mask requirements were lifted on Sept. 16 based on the recommendation of UH medical and public health experts as well as the latest federal and state guidance. (Anthony Akau/UH Hilo Stories)

Face mask requirements on all University of Hawai‘i campuses and properties were lifted on Sept. 16 with the use of masks now up to each individual. Previously, masks were required in classrooms, shared laboratory spaces and confined educational spaces in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

Boaz Ayers pictured
Boaz Ayers (Maisie Paulson/ UH Hilo Stories)
Brendé Yoshizumi pictured
Brendé Yoshizumi (Maisie Paulson/UH Hilo Stories)

“With the mask mandate on campus lifted, it feels great to be going back to normal again,” says kinesiology major Brendé Yoshizumi, a UH Hilo Vulcan on the women’s soccer team.

The decision to lift the remaining mask requirements was based on the recommendation of UH medical and public health experts as well as the latest federal and state guidance. The rate of COVID-19 community transmission is no longer disrupting daily life. Most infections now are not life threatening, and many recover without hospitalization.

“It’s nice to see all the lovely smiles we have on campus again,” says communication major Boaz Ayers, a Vulcan outfielder with men’s baseball.

UH President David Lassner asks that everyone be respectful of an individual’s choice to continue to wear a face mask and abide by signs that may be posted outside individual offices requesting that masks be worn for the protection of others. “Mahalo for all you have done to elevate our collective understanding of personal safety during this devastating pandemic. You have demonstrated our capacity to look beyond ourselves and to care for others.”

Masking is still strongly encouraged in crowded indoor spaces and required for those who have contracted the virus. More information can be found at UH COVID-19 Guidelines and UH Hilo COVID-19 Guidelines.


Office worker at desk throwing the shaka.
Office worker Tianna Lopez is no longer required to wear a face mask at work. Office workers at UH Hilo are no longer required to wear masks unless posted outside individual offices requesting that masks be worn for the protection of others. (Anthony Akau/UH Hilo Stories)

-New mask policy story from UH System News. For UH Hilo Stories: widescreen photos by student photographer Anthony Akau (Business Administration); student writer Maisie Paulson (Sociology, Women’s Soccer) contributed UH Hilo Vulcan quotations and profile photos.