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Coronavirus update: COVID-19 testing site, resources for those in need, summer internships

Coronavirus update: COVID-19 testing site, resources for those in need, summer internships

April 7, 2020 at 5:45pm


  • FIU to open COVID-19 testing site adjacent to MMC
  • Ways to help and resources for those needing assistance
  • Summer internships

Dear members of the university community,

We hope you are having a productive fourth week of learning and working remotely. As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, at FIU we are looking for ways to support students, faculty staff and the South Florida community.

COVID-19 testing site opens on Wednesday 

FIU is partnering with Miami-Dade County, the Florida Department of Health, and the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition to open a COVID-19 testing site.

The new drive-thru testing site is scheduled to open on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at the fairgrounds. The entrance is located on Southwest 107th Avenue and 20th Street. Testing will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week by appointment only.

Appointments must be made by calling 305-499-8767. The call center opens at 9 a.m. and takes appointments for the following day until all 300 slots are filled. To qualify for testing, a person must be at least 18 years old and have symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Panthers helping Panthers

Many of our students live paycheck to paycheck and are struggling with the financial impacts of job losses and reduced work hours. If you are in a position to support others, please know that many members of our university community can use your help to get through this crisis. We have activated FIUstrong to help take care of our own.

FIUstrong already has awarded grants to 202 students. The team is working through another 560 requests for aid totaling more than $777,000. To donate, please visit the FIUstrong page. Your contribution counts toward the Ignite campaign.

Faculty and staff members needing support may contact the Office of Employee Assistance for an appointment. You may email the office at or call 305-348-2469. To learn more about our services please visit the Human Resources Assistance and Wellness page. 

Hospitality Relief Fund

More than 140 South Florida restaurants have helped employees through the SOBEWFF® & FIU Chaplin School Hospitality Relief Fund. So far, grants totaling more than $830,000 have been given to independently owned restaurants and bars in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Many of these family operated establishments are owned by FIU alumni, have hired FIU student interns and have even given graduates their first job. The program awards grant of up to $15,000 per business ($500 per employee).

To receive assistance from the relief fund, business owners must apply. The fund was launched with $1 million, including a founding donation of $500,000 by the Chaplin School, taken from the proceeds given yearly to the school by the South Beach Wine & Food Festival®. Additional donations came from school partners Bacardi USA and Badia Spices, in addition to other corporations and individuals for a total of nearly $1.2 million to date.

To donate to the fund, please text FIUSOBEWFF to 41444 or visit the FIU Chaplin School website.

Summer internships

Employers are assessing their internship needs for summer and fall. Students who have received offers for the summer are encouraged to contact their recruiter. In many instances, employers are offering virtual internships. Students also should consider micro-internships. These are short-term, paid professional projects that provide opportunities to gain experience.

For the time being, the university recommends that students do not relocate for summer internships. The FIU in Washington D.C. team is supporting students in obtaining virtual Summer 2020 internship opportunities and in-person internship opportunities for the Fall 2020 semester and beyond. For questions about internships in Washington D.C., please contact Eric Feldman.

FIU students can seek assistance with their professional development by logging into FIU’s job platform for students and alumni. The platform offers meetings with a career coach, virtual workshops and networking events with employers.

University travel canceled through at least July 1, 2020

Provost Kenneth G. Furton announced on Monday that all upcoming domestic and international university travel by FIU faculty and staff is suspended until July 1, 2020. Likewise, international scholar and delegation visits to FIU is also extended until July 1, 2020.

Thank you for your feedback 

More than 700 people answered the call to take our communication survey aimed at helping us improve how we serve you in the days ahead. The good news is that 95 percent of you say you’re getting the information you need to learn and work remotely. Thank you for your participation and know that we’re already considering your feedback as we prepare future communication. We will be publishing an article on FIU News this week with more detailed results of the survey.

The Florida Department of Health has created a separate short survey designed to capture demographic info related to COVID-19.  If you would like to help, please go to the Stronger than COVID-19 website.

For updated information on how FIU is responding to the coronavirus pandemic, please visit the FIU coronavirus website.

Thank you and have a good week, Panthers!