COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus Communications & Resources

The Office of the Bishop has initiated a series of memos to district, temple, and affiliated organization leaders to provide guidance in making decisions about temple activities and procedures during the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

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Memos from Hongwanji Hawaii HQ

Memos from headquarters are listed in reverse-chronological order (most recent first).

  • 08/08/2020: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 9
    Guidance from the HHMH Bishop and President given the resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
  • 06/02/2020: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 8
    More guidance as we enter the month of June, when the four counties have made allowances for “Places of Worship” to reopen, subject to restrictions and requirements for safety.
  • 05/24/2020: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 7
    More detailed guidance on reopening from the HHMH bishop and president, especially for Kauai and Oahu, including a checklist for reopening.
  • 05/21/2020: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 6
    As Hawaii enters the “Act with Care” phase, Bishop Matsumoto and Dr. Warren Tamamoto provide guidance on what this means for our temple operations, including a cautious phased approach, best practices, and measures to prepare.
  • 04/24/2020: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 5
    Extends directive on no in-person services & activities indefinitely, with decisions on reopening to be made on a district-by-district basis in consultation with HQ. Updates guidelines on permitted services.
  • 03/24/2020: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 4
    Updates to directives and recommendations in light of stay-at-home and emergency orders for Oahu, Maui, and the state of Hawaii. Covers bedside and funeral services and minimum basic operations.
  • 03/17/2020: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 3
    New directives and recommendations from headquarters (a condensed, website version of what was sent to Hongwanji leaders and staff). See also a message from Bishop Matsumoto to accompany Memo 3.
  • 03/16/2020: April 5 HBC Buddha Day Service CANCELED. As a precautionary measure related to the COVID-19 virus, the Hawaii Buddhist Council has canceled the HBC Buddha Day Service on Sunday, April 5. Neither an in-person nor an online HBC Buddha Day Service will be offered. (Note that the Hongwanji State Ministers Association intends to present a simple online service at 10 a.m. on April 5.) This item was updated to reflect the cancellation of the online service as well.
  • 03/11/2020: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 2
    Suggestions for temples to consider for possible implementation and action.
  • 03/03/2020: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 1
    Introductory memo with best practices for limiting transmission of respiratory illnesses, links to agency resources, being prepared.

    Excerpt on guidelines for individuals:

    • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Washing hands before eating and after using the bathroom
    • Using a cloth face covering when in public, except very young children and people with breathing difficulty (updated 5/13/20)
    • Avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
    • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
    • Staying home when sick and calling the doctor or healthcare provider if experiencing a fever above 100° (updated 5/13/20)
    • Getting an updated flu vaccine

Additional Resources

Listed here as a service; no endorsement is implied. Please assess these resources currency and applicability to your particular situation.


  • 211 hotline by Aloha United Way, a “comprehensive, statewide community information and referral service;” personalized COVID-19 info and help connecting to services
  • Oahu:, “links to trusted sites that are continually updated”





Hongwanji Organizations