COVID-19 FAQs & Resources

During this unprecedented time, Hawai‘i Pacific University stands by its commitment to support our ‘ohana, including answering your questions related to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. We have prepared the following information with our student and parent audiences in mind.     

I HEARD THE STATE OF HAWAII COVID-19 TESTING REQUIREMENTS FOR TRANS-PACIFIC TRAVELERS BOUND FOR HONOLULU HAS CHANGED SINCE OCTOBER. WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW? 

Yes, an important change to the State’s requirements effective November 24 is that travelers must upload their negative NAAT COVID-19 test result processed by a Trusted Provider - a State-approved, CLIA-certified laboratory - to the Safe Travels Hawaii platform or have such test result in hand prior to departure to Honolulu’s Inouye International Airport to avoid the 10-day quarantine. Here is a list of State-approved Trusted Travel and Testing Partners. You are required to be tested no more than 72 hours prior to departure on your last flight to Honolulu.   

WHAT IS THE STATE OF HAWAII SAFE TRAVELS PROGRAM AND WHAT DO I NEED TO DO BEFORE BOARDING THE PLANE TO HONOLULU?

The State of Hawaii Safe Travels Program allows visitors and returning students and residents with negative test results to be exempt from quarantine upon arrival. Click here to begin to use the Safe Travels platform.  It's a mandatory part of Hawai‘i’s pre-travel screening and testing program and requires three steps. 

  • Step 1: You must use the Safe Travels platform to upload your travel details from your mobile device or computer. 
  • Step 2: You must obtain a COVID test from a Trusted Travel and Testing Partner within 72-hours of travel and receive a negative result prior to departure for Hawaii. 
  • Step 3: On the day of travel, you must complete a brief health questionnaire posted on the Safe Travels portal. 

Once all three steps are complete, you will also receive the required QR code that will enable your entry into the state when you arrive at the special checkpoint at the airport in Honolulu.   

WHY SHOULD I APPLY FOR THE UNIVERSITY STUDENT TRAVEL EXEMPTION PROGRAM? 

HPU recommends students try to first meet the State’s Safe Travels pre-travel testing program's requirements, as it allows exemption entirely from the mandatory 10-day quarantine. However, HPU highly suggests also applying to participate in the University Student Travel Exemption Program, in the event the State does not approve your pre-travel test during airport screening. This back-up option allows you to be partially exempt from the State’s mandatory 10-day quarantine, meaning that you can participate in University-sponsored activities ONLY.  Think of the travel exemption program as a bit of extra insurance in case, for instance, your results from your mainland pre-travel COVID test aren’t ready before your departure to Honolulu or you discover that you did not utilize a Trusted Provider

Because there are few international Trusted Travel and Testing Partners outside Japan and Canada, international students are encouraged to apply for and participate in the post-travel testing component of the University Student Travel Exemption Program.  While it is possible to obtain a pre-travel test on route in the mainland U.S., it is not likely that the test results will be received prior to departure.  

WHAT DO I NEED TO SUBMIT TO HPU TO APPLY FOR AND PARTICIPATE IN THE UNIVERSITY STUDENT TRAVEL EXEMPTION PROGRAM?

Please submit the Attestation Form to HPU so that you can receive a participation letter prior to your departure to the Honolulu airport.  If you do not meet the requirements of the Hawaii Safe Travels program, you will be required to show this letter to officials at the Honolulu airport to avoid being placed in the State’s mandatory quarantine program.  

Students who apply for the Student Travel Exemption Program will need to obtain a negative NAAT/PCR COVID test either 72-hours prior to departure for pre-travel tests (from either a Trusted Partner or other CLIA-certified lab provider) or within 48-hours from arrival for post-travel tests. Once the test results come in, they must be uploaded to the Results Form and approved by HPU before students are cleared to participate in the modified quarantine program. An updated letter will be provided at that time.  It may take up to two days to obtain negative test results, so students should plan to quarantine in their residences until receiving final HPU approval for participation. 

WHAT ARE STUDENTS PERMITTED TO DO IF APPROVED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE UNIVERSITY STUDENT TRAVEL EXEMPTION PROGRAM ?

Once HPU issues final approval, students are free during the first 10-days to move around the campus locations and attend official college activities, including orientations, safety trainings, classes, dining according to University requirements, and travel between facilities on the HPU shuttle. Other activities, including shopping trips, beach outings, and other social activities will need to wait until the modified 10-day quarantine period has ended. 

While participating in the travel exemption (modified quarantine) program, students will be required to conduct daily wellness checks at the start of each day and respond to University outreach on at least a daily basis. Students must carry their University-issued modified quarantine program letters at all times. 

DOES HEALTH INSURANCE COVER THE COST OF COVID-TESTING TO MEET STATE OF HAWAII TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS?

No, health insurance will not necessarily cover COVID-testing expenses for travel purposes. 

AM I ABLE TO GET A COVID-TEST ON HPU’S CAMPUS?

If students cannot get a State-approved pre-travel test from a Trusted Provider, S&G Labs Hawaii will offer the PCR test from January 4 to January 10, 10am to 11am at the Aloha Tower Marketplace, MPR 2. To pre-register,go to https://sglabshawaii.jotform.com/203376341759057;  the cost is $100 and results are expected typically within 48 hours. 

Off-campus clinics also offer the COVID PCR test for a fee, and the City & County of Honolulu also has partnerships with free-testing sites; posted here is a list of post-travel testing locations. Some approved PCR tests, such as the one at the Honolulu Airport, offer same-day results. 

Upon arrival in Hawaii, students must travel from the airport directly to their place of residence only—no public transportation or pooled rides (e.g., shared uber, shared Taxi) unless stopping first at a county or university facility to obtain a PCR test for COVID‐19. 

If students are pre-approved to participate in the University Student Travel Exemption Program, the post-travel PCR test must be taken within 48 hours of arrival; this is a State requirement. Students who reside in Aloha Tower Marketplace or Hawaii Loa Campus residences will receive more specific instructions from the Housing & Residence Life staff regarding spring check-in.       

WILL RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS BE ABLE TO MOVE BACK INTO THEIR DORMS RIGHT AWAY OR WILL THEY HAVE TO QUARANTINE IN A HOTEL?

Students who receive an exemption through the State of Hawaii Safe Travels Program may move directly into their residence after checking-in with housing staff, and they are free to move around the island without any restrictions. Students who arrive without a negative pre-test do not have to quarantine in a hotel off-campus. Instead, they will be required to take a “rapid” antigen test at the residence halls and receive a negative test result prior to moving into their own residence hall room. 

The antigen test, which provides results in about 15-minutes, is not a substitute for the NAAT/PCR test that is required for participation in the University Student Travel Exemption Program, but it allows students to move in to their residence hall rooms to quarantine while they are waiting for their pre-travel or post-travel test results to come in. “Rapid” antigen tests will be available at the ATM University Health Center from January 4-10 and there is no cost to residence-hall students.  Students who plan to arrive outside of this window should contact their Housing & Residence Life staff to discuss other rapid testing and move-in options.      

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 WHILE I AM OFF-ISLAND OVER THE WINTER BREAK AND WHAT IMPACT WILL IT HAVE ON MY RETURN TO CAMPUS?

While this is a case-by-case analysis, according to the State Department of Health, generally, if you have recovered from COVID-19 but still test positive for the virus you must submit the following two pieces of information and receive approval prior to arrival to qualify for a COVID-19 exemption to the 10-day quarantine through the state:

  1. A copy of a positive molecular COVID-19 test (NAAT or PCR) from a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified laboratory taken no more than 90 days and no less than 11 days prior to your departure date.
  2. A signed letter from a medical provider stating that you have not exhibited symptoms and are fully recovered – this letter must be signed at least 10 days after your positive test and no more than 14 days from your departure date.

All documents must be on company-issued letterhead and submitted to covidexemption@hawaii.gov for processing prior to travel. Please allow a week for processing.

OPTIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS COMING TO HAWAII: 

International students are encouraged to travel between Jan 4-10, 2021. If traveling on different dates, please contact Bernard Chong, Office of International Student Services, bchong@hpu.edu.  When making your plans to travel to Hawaii, consider your testing options: 

OPTION A: If coming from Canada, Japan, or from an extended layover from the U.S. mainland, make arrangements to obtain a NAAT/PCR test 72-hours from departure for Hawaii from a laboratory on the state approved list, which can be found here: Trusted Travel and Testing Partners. This will allow you to apply for the Safe Travels Quarantine Exemption program (see the FAQ entitled “WHAT IS THE SAFE TRAVELS PROGRAM”)

OPTION B: If it is not possible to obtain a negative PCR COVID test from a Trusted Travel and Testing Partner prior to departure, then plan to receive a COVID test on campus within 48-hours of arrival. It is recommended that you plan your trip so that you arrive between January 4-10. program option.) This will allow you to participate in the University Student Travel Exemption (modified quarantine) program (see the FAQ entitled “WHY SHOULD I APPLY FOR THE UNIVERSITY STUDENT TRAVEL EXEMPTION PROGRAM?”)

Once you have made your travel plans, be sure to complete the paperwork:

If pursuing OPTION A, participation in the state Safe Travels Quarantine Exemption program, please follow the instructions below: 

Click here to begin to use the Safe Travels platform.  It's a mandatory part of Hawai‘i’s pre-travel screening and testing program and requires three steps. 

Step 1: You must use the Safe Travels platform to upload your travel details from your mobile device or computer. 

Step 2: You must obtain a COVID test from a Trusted Travel and Testing Partner within 72-hours of travel and receive a negative result prior to departure for Hawaii. 

Step 3: On the day of travel, you must complete a brief health questionnaire posted on the Safe Travels portal. 

Once all three steps are complete, you will also receive the required QR code that will enable your entry into the state when you arrive at the special checkpoint at the airport in Honolulu.   

All international students are encouraged to also complete paperwork for OPTION B to participate in the University Student Travel Exemption Program as a back-up option. Those instructions are included below:

Step 1: Please submit the Attestation Form to HPU so that you can receive a participation letter prior to your departure to the Honolulu airport.  You will be required to show this letter to officials at the Honolulu airport to avoid being placed in the State’s mandatory quarantine program.  

Step 2: Students who apply for the University Student Travel Exemption Program will also need to obtain a negative NAAT/PCR COVID test within 48-hours from arrival for post-travel tests. Testing is available on HPU’s campus from January 4-10, 10-11am at the Aloha Tower Marketplace, MPR 2. To pre-register,go to https://sglabshawaii.jotform.com/203376341759057 

Step 3: Once the test results come in, they must be uploaded to the Results Form and approved by HPU before students are cleared to participate in the modified quarantine program. HPU will provide an updated letter at that time.  It may take up to two days to obtain negative test results, so students should plan to quarantine in their residences until receiving final HPU approval for participation. 

OPTIONS FOR INTER-ISLAND TRAVEL: 

  • Travel from O’ahu to other neighboring islands should follow the steps to participate in the state Safe Travels Quarantine Exemption program, which requires a negative pre-test from a Trusted Travel and Testing Partner collected no more than 72-hours prior to departure. Please see the FAQ entitled “WHAT IS THE STATE OF HAWAII SAFE TRAVELS PROGRAM” for more information on the Safe Travels Program requirement.
  • If you return to O’ahu from a neighboring island ONLY (no transpacific travel), you are exempt from the state's quarantine requirement and do not need to best before departure upon arrival.   

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ARE STUDENT ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS STILL OFFERED ON CAMPUS? 

The Student Activities team works closely with the numerous Registered Student Organizations on campus to continue offering activities and events. Colleges and departments across the university also offer activities and events. Virtual events will be held, and any in-person events will comply with City & County of Honolulu regulations, including no social gatherings of more than five people. You can participate in interactive sessions covering a wide variety of topics, including campus highlights, Hawaiian history and culture, career services, comedy shows, and even virtual concerts. 

DO I NEED TO WEAR A FACE-COVERING ON CAMPUS?      

Yes, individuals are required to wear face coverings at all times in public and common areas at HPU, including in offices, except when alone in an enclosed office or while dining consistent with dining requirements. While teaching, faculty are encouraged to wear a face shield with their mask. As additional health and safety precaution, eating and drinking in class is not allowed.      

WHAT ARE THE DAILY HEALTH-SCREENING REQUIREMENTS I MUST ADHERE TO BEFORE GOING TO CLASS OR WORK? 

All students, faculty, and staff are required to fill out a daily health survey, accessible on the myHPU app or at www.hpu.edu/screening. If the answer is “yes” to any of the health-screening questions, individuals should stay home and seek health care if needed.  Students, faculty, and staff are also required to take their temperature daily at a campus thermal scanner station, and if asked, show your daily health pass to security.   

WHAT SHOULD I DO IN THE EVENT I TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 OR BELIEVE I HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID-19 OR ARE FEELING ILL? 

If a member of the HPU community, student, faculty, or staff, tests positive for COVID-19, or has been exposed to it or is feeling ill, the individual should immediately contact our Director of Safety and Security Sam Tong, 808-236-3597, stong@hpu.edu. 

 

STATE OF HAWAII-CITY & COUNTY OF HONOLULU INFORMATION 

What are the latest City and County of Honolulu and State of Hawaii mandates in the attempt to combat the transmission of COVID-19?  

COVID-19-related government orders for the State of Hawai‘i are posted here and for the City & County of Honolulu are posted here.  

COVID-19 RESOURCE SITES 

One Oahu: City & County of Honolulu COVID-19 Information 

Hawai‘i State Department of Health: COVID-19 Updates 

Hawai‘i State Department of Health Travel and Visitor Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

World Health Organization 

General Health Services Resource Information is posted here.