University of Hawaii requires masks indoors amid COVID spike

HONOLULU (AP) — The University of Hawaii said Tuesday it will require masks indoors across its 10-campus system amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the islands.

The new rule takes effect Wednesday. Those working alone or who are separated by more than 6 feet from others will be exempt.

The university said the rule adheres to recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state Department of Health and the school’s own medical experts.

The CDC ranks Hawaii fourth in the nation for new coronavirus cases, the university said. The state has a seven-day average rate of 495.9 cases per 100,000 people.

The indoor mask rule will be re-evaluated when COVID-19 transmission declines.

Gov. David Ige lifted Hawaii’s statewide indoor mask mandate in late March, citing declining case counts and hospitalizations.