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).

  • 03/03/2022: added link to COVID-19 Memo 18
    Guidance from the HHMH Bishop and President as county and state restrictions are removed and temple boards consider reopening plans.
  • 01/29/2022: Due to the highly transmissible nature of Omicron Variant BA.2, in an abundance of caution, the HHMH HQ Office reopening has been further postponed until February 14, 2022.
  • 12/31/2021: Due to the high rise in COVID cases and the highly transmissible nature of the Omnicron Variant, the HQ Pali Office reopening has been postponed until February 1, 2022.
  • 08/29/2021: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 17
    Guidance from the HHMH Bishop and President as the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant causes an alarming surge in cases.
  • 06/13/2021: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 16
    Guidance from the HHMH Bishop and President regarding the anticipated lifting of inter-island travel restrictions, in-person services, and other topics.
  • 03/21/2021: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 15
    Guidance from the HHMH Bishop and President following recent changes in vaccination eligibility and restrictions on the various islands. Includes agency links.
  • 03/03/2021: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 14
    Guidance from the HHMH Bishop and President following the DOH’s indication that religious organization employees (clergy and lay staff) are category 1c and vaccines should be available in the month of March.
  • 09/26/2020: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 13
    Guidance from the HHMH Bishop and President in response to the new mayoral order on Oahu extending through October 31. Recommendations continue to include no mass singing, online-only Sunday services, and staggered work schedules for larger offices.
  • 09/10/2020: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 12
    Guidance from the HHMH Bishop and President in response to the modified restrictions on Oahu extending through September 23. Recommendations include no mass singing, online Sunday services, and staggered work schedules.
  • 08/31/2020: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 11
    Guidance from the HHMH Bishop and President in response to the two-week period of increased restrictions on Oahu.
  • 08/20/2020: HHMH COVID-19 Memo 10
    Guidance from the HHMH Bishop and President in response to “Act Now Honolulu, No Social Gatherings” regulations on Oahu.
  • 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

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Hongwanji Organizations