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Coronavirus update: CARES Act to assist students

Coronavirus update: CARES Act to assist students

Update 22—The following message was sent to the FIU community today

March 27, 2020 at 6:45pm

  • Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist students
  • What to do if you test positive for COVID-19

Dear members of the university,

Given the COVID-19 situation, it is our sincere hope that each of you has been able to manage a productive week of remote learning and work. We recognize that on top of your work and/or learning responsibilities you are dealing with additional new stressors.

Important legislation

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. Among other federal support, FIU is expecting to receive a share of a $14.2 billion Higher Education Stabilization fund which will soon provide emergency financial aid grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Immediate relief for our students and alumni will include:

  • The halting of all student loan payments for six months and pausing interest accrual on those loans during that time.
  • Each month during this span would still count toward a qualifying payment toward an authorized loan forgiveness program
  • Pell Grant recipients would not be required to repay the federal government if they had to leave school because of the crisis
  • Any disrupted academic terms would also not count toward the lifetime limit on receiving Pell
  • Allows payments to work-study students if they were unable to fulfill their work-study obligation for all or part of the academic year


COVID-19 Medical Update

Some members of the faculty and staff may be concerned with reports of illness coming from their students or members of their teams. Please follow and encourage other to follow these guidelines:

  • Any member of the university community who develops symptoms associated with the coronavirus — dry cough, fever, shortness of breath— should seek medical attention and avoid contact with others.
  • Anyone who becomes symptomatic, if able, should make careful notes about the places and people you have been with for the previous two weeks. Please follow guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. If a health care provider determines your symptoms to be related to coronavirus and advises to be tested, you should self-quarantine  immediately to avoid spreading the virus and go for testing as advised by your health care provider.
  • If the result of the test is positive, the person is confirmed COVID-19 positive. You must self-isolate and take additional precautions to not pass on the virus to other members of your household. Health care providers and health officials will provide guidance regarding the need to notify possible close contacts.
  • The last day someone was on campus and the date the COVID-19 test was performed are important in determining potential exposure for the university community. Please include those two dates as you communicate with faculty, supervisors or Human Resources. Please copy Amy Aiken in your correspondence.

The last on-campus classes took place on March 11 and our faculty and staff began remote work on March 16. Based on these dates, with every passing day it is less and less likely a positive test result poses a threat to other members of the FIU university community.

The exemptions, of course, are the approximately 700 students still living in student housing and the 200 or so members of the faculty and staff who are on to campus to perform their responsibilities. Fortunately, to date, we have no reports of a positive test result of those that could potentially be in contact with other members of our FIU community.

FIU Health and the Student Health Clinics 

For the safety and welfare of our providers, staff and other patients, FIU Health and the Student Health Clinics are seeing patients by appointment only. Please call ahead even if you have an appointment.

Contact FIU Student Health Services at 305-348-2401.

Faculty, staff and other members of the community may contact FIU Health at 305-348-3627(DOCS). 

FIU Health and the Student Health Clinics providers will likely be offering telemedicine consultations next week. Please look for the announcement in the coming days.

The Wolfsonian-FIU

After most faculty and staff were working from home and the museums were closed, a vendor who later turned out to be positive for coronavirus visited The Wolfsonian-FIU. A small number of employees who may have been exposed to this individual have been contacted, and they are taking the appropriate steps. No members of the FIU team have experienced symptoms.

RCL Performance Production Rehearsal facility

Two individuals with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCL) Performance Production Rehearsal facility at BBC tested positive for coronavirus. The first was an RCL cast member, who returned to their home country prior to testing positive. Upon receiving news of the individual’s results, RCL immediately quarantined any cast member that was in contact with the individual. The second individual was a contracted employee of the RCL Entertainment Team. Any co-worker who came in contact with this individual has been contacted and they are taking the appropriate steps. No other cast members have shown any symptoms as of today. The Performance Production Rehearsal facility is currently closed.

Please visit the FIU coronavirus webpage for updates, resources and additional information as it becomes available.

Have a safe and healthy weekend!