The Hawai`i Department of Health recognizes the health benefits of children attending school in person, including the fundamental links between education and long-term health outcomes. The widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines, high levels of vaccination and immunity, increased access to testing, and effective treatments have significantly reduced the risk of severe COVID-19 disease, hospitalization, and death. These developments have enabled schools to maintain in-person learning and focus on their primary mission: optimizing the educational experience of students. The K-12 school guidance is based on the best available evidence to support healthy learning environments and will continue to be updated as new information becomes available. While this guidance is specific to COVID-19 prevention, many of the strategies help prevent the spread of other common infectious diseases such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and norovirus.
The updated Guidance for K-12 Schools is based on the best available evidence at this time and will continue to be updated as new information becomes available. The most recent key changes to the Guidance for Schools are highlighted in the summary box below.
Summary of guidance changes/updates as of June 2023
- Removed mitigation strategies list and refer schools directly to www.CDC.gov.
- Adjusted language related to cluster and outbreak reporting to clarify the differences for schools.
- Removed sections that are no longer part of state response: community levels notifications and specific types of testing.