UH Hilo COVID-19 Guidelines

VI. Housing, Services and Events

These guidelines are interim only and are subject to revision, until we can complete consultation with the unions.

In this page:

A. Student Housing

Hale Kanilehua student housing In UH Hilo University Housing and Residence Life, our student’s health and safety remains our top priority. Policy and procedures to meet physical distancing guidelines have been modified:

  • Limited residential capacity to reduce the density in living spaces and adhere to physical distancing requirements.
  • Reduced overall capacity in the residence halls from a maximum capacity of 937 beds to 616 beds for the Fall 2020 semester.
  • Four-person units will now accommodate two residents only.
  • Two-person units will now accommodate one resident only.


Resident Check-In Day for Fall 2020 is Tuesday, August 18, 2020. To minimize the risk of exposure and to maintain our student’s safety while in the residence community, University Housing will be taking the following precautions to adhere to CDC Guidelines:

  • The check-in process will adhere to physical distancing guidelines (facial coverings, washing hands, etc.).
  • The check-in schedule will limit the number of people arriving at the same time; students are required to sign-up in advance for a check-in time.
  • Residents will be limited to one (1) guest that will be allowed to assist or accompany them at the time of check-in. May be subject to change.

Common Areas

  • Maximum capacity in shared areas (lounges, kitchens, restrooms, etc.) have been reduced. Signs reflecting the new maximum capacity will be displayed in all common areas. Physical distancing must be practiced at all times in the common areas.
  • Sanitizing and disinfectant stations will be installed on all shared floors and in community restrooms.
  • Common areas are cleaned daily by a contracted vendor. In addition, cleaning protocols will be increased utilizing institutional resources.


  • Shopping Shuttle Service: Shopping shuttles to Target, Walmart or Safeway are tentatively scheduled. May be subject to change.
  • For in-person programs offered by University Housing and Residence Life staff, University Housing and Residence Life staff and all residents will be expected to adhere to physical distancing and CDC guidelines.
  • Pre-designated spaces must be determined and should not have more than 10 participants in the same space at the same time.
  • Virtual programs or meetings will be offered for those residents wishing to participate in residence life programming while in the comfort and safety of their own room.


  • Recognizing the special circumstances in student housing, testing protocols may be developed for residents and employees to respond to instances of COVID-19 in a timely manner.
  • Isolation/quarantine protocols that comply with DOH guidance (i.e., what to do if you test positive for COVID-19 (PDF), a person at your worksite tests positive for COVID-19 (PDF), or you have been tested for COVID-19 (PDF)) are in development for residents or employees who test positive or have been notified of close contact with a positive COVID-19 case.
  • A small number of rooms have been set aside to serve as isolation spaces for students who get sick or require self-isolation during the semester.

Health and Safety

  • Each resident will be provided with a COVID Care Kit that will include a reusable face mask, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, disinfectant spray and roll of paper when they check into their assignment. It is recommended that residents also bring additional face coverings for their personal use.
  • Students in the residence community are required to wear a face mask or facial covering in all enclosed shared spaces in the residence community. These enclosed shared spaces include, but are not limited to, student lounges, computer labs, laundry rooms and kitchen areas. Face masks or facial coverings will also be required when being assisted at any one of the desk operations in the University Housing areas.
  • High-touch areas and surfaces will be wiped down with disinfectant spray and/or disinfectant wipes by building staff throughout the day.
  • A transparent barrier will be installed at each front desk operation in all residence hall buildings. Staff will also be required to use a face mask or covering when serving a person at the desk or window. Portable sneeze guards will also be used at any in-person programs and events.
  • Where feasible, there is a flow of foot traffic in common areas to mitigate face-to-face contact or exchanges and to minimize pedestrian traffic congestion. Where lines typically form, there is signage, tape, or six-foot spacing for people in line to maintain appropriate distance.
  • Staff will be expected to disinfect and sanitize office spaces and high-touch areas at the end of each shift.
  • Persons using sinks where more than one sink is located will be physically distanced.
  • Urinals will not be available for use.
  • Drinking fountains in the residence community will not be in use. Hydration stations remain available for use.
  • Many meetings will continue to be virtual in the fall. Social activities will also primarily be virtual, but there will be a small number of in-person events as appropriate for the type of activity planned.
  • Guest Policy: The University Housing Guest Policy has been revised:
    • No guests will be allowed in the residence halls and apartments.
    • Residents may host one (1) resident from within the same hall or apartment.
    • If a resident is actively moving out, the resident can have one (1) guest to assist with the move out. May be subject to change.

B. Food Service at Events

  • If seating for dining is available, follow the guidance for modified layouts set forth in Facilities and Spaces, Modified Layouts (Section IV.C) to adhere to physical distancing.
  • Use disposable food service items (e.g. , utensils, dishes) whenever feasible. If disposable items are not feasible or desirable, ensure that all non-disposable food service items are handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water or in a dishwasher. Individuals should wash their hands after removing their gloves or after directly handling used food service items.
  • If food is offered at any event, have pre-packaged boxes or bags for each attendee instead of a buffet or family-style meal. Avoid sharing food and utensils.
  • Where lines typically form, campuses or vendors shall designate with signage, tape, or by other means 6-foot spacing for people in line to maintain appropriate distance.

C. Student Services

  • Consistent with the university’s commitment to access, the services provided to students will be accessible to the greatest extent possible whether students are on campus or are studying remotely. Remote access to students should provide the same level of service as in-person offerings.
  • The university provides a digital platform (STAR Balance) that allows students to make appointments with some staff, advisors or faculty. Currently, appointments with the Advising Center can be made through STAR Balance. This platform permits students to consult with University personnel without the need to be on campus. This capability should permit students who cannot come to campus to still access faculty office hours, tutoring services, and advisors.
  • All Student Affairs departments will be providing student support and student engagement opportunities in-person and virtually for Fall 2020. Students are encouraged to check department websites and announcements to verify the specific format of delivery for programs.
  • Student services and activities conducted in person shall adhere to all applicable guidelines relating to physical distancing, barriers, face coverings, sanitization and other considerations.

D. Events, Gatherings, and Activities (excluding classes)

Large gatherings of 10 or more people are restricted based on State and County guidelines.

  • UH Hilo encourages virtual group events, gatherings, activities or meetings, if feasible.
  • Where in-person gatherings are unavoidable, promote physical distancing of at least 6 feet between people, wear face coverings, use outdoor, well-ventilated spaces, and limit group size to the extent possible.
  • Limit any nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations as much as possible – especially with individuals who are not from the local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, county).
  • Pursue options to convene sporting events and participation in sports activities in ways that minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to players, coaches, staff, audiences and communities.
  • Units seeking to hold non-classroom activities of 10 or more people must obtain approval from the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs.
    • Academic Affairs: Prior approval obtained from Dean and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
    • Student Affairs: Prior approval obtained from Directors and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
    • Chancellor’s Units: Prior approval obtained from Director and Chancellor.

Guideline for Special Facilities (Athletics, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, Student Life Center, Campus Center, Performing Arts Center) may be found on the UH Hilo COVID site.

E. Use of Facilities by External (Non-university) Parties

  • External parties that are granted permission to share or use university facilities shall also follow these guidelines.

→ Continue to VII. Office Spaces and Staffing