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March 16 Message from Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas

Aloha mai kākou,

Mahalo for all of the hard work you have been doing in response to this rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19. I want to provide several updates, including UH President David Lassner’s most recent message, as well as other information specific to Hawai‘i CC. And as always, the situation is evolving and information provided is subject to change.

President Lassner shared this message on Monday, March 16. I encourage you to read it if you haven’t already. It includes a link to a frequently asked questions website for employees that is on the Office of Human Resources website (login required), which will be updated as needed to keep employees apprised of HR-related information.

Hawai‘i CC Web Page

We have established a COVID-19 web page that is linked from our homepage. This will include updates and resources and act as a repository for email messages and other information related to this topic. 

Extra Sanitation and Steps You Can Take

The Plant, Operations and Maintenance (POM) staff have been focusing their efforts on cleaning and disinfecting “high-touch” surface areas with the priority being classrooms, computer labs, the welcome center, tutoring facilities and other high traffic and shared areas.

“High-touch” surfaces include:

  • Door knobs and handles

  • Countertops

  • Classroom desks

  • Light switches

  • Elevator buttons

  • Stairway railings

  • Restroom fixtures

  • Paper towel and soap dispensers

  • Water fountains

  • Trash container lid handles

Going forward, the POM staff will continue to disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in high-traffic public and shared areas.  

Individuals should also take it upon themselves to take the extra precautions outlined by the Centers for Disease Control for preventing the spread of COVID-19. This includes washing your hands frequently, not touching your face and paying attention to distance from others. These CDC links provide good resources for this type of information, and there are also PDFs: 

Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Ken Kaleiwahea is working on ordering disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer so those can be available for your areas. We expect our first shipment to arrive on Wednesday, so we will keep you informed when those become available.  This is also an opportunity to consider creative ways to serve students that can limit close face-to-face interaction. As with a move to online classes, I encourage you to consider ways that we can provide services using online technology, phone and other virtual solutions. Some of you are already doing this; mahalo for your creativity. 

Federal Resources

There is legislation being introduced in the U.S. Congress to provide emergency relief from the negative effects of COVID-19 for students. We will be watching closely, so if and when any emergency funds become available we can help students access them.  

Events and Meetings

We are updating our earlier guidance on events and meetings on campus, extending the end date through May 8. This means that through May 8 we will not be hosting campus events that are expected to draw 25 or more people. This means our annual Student Recognition Ceremony and the End-of-the-Year Breakfast and Awards Celebration are cancelled. We will provide an update on commencement ceremonies as soon as decisions are made. In addition, we will not be approving requests to use our facilities by external parties through May 8. 

Thank you again for your patience and hard work during this challenging time. There has been an abundance of “thinking outside the box” to change the way we provide instruction to our students and join other segments of community in “social distancing,” reducing crowds on campus, and minimizing the risk of further spreading this pandemic.  What is comforting is that we have made these decisions and changes with consideration of the unique needs of our students and the communities we serve.

Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas