Skip to Content
COVID-19 pandemic update: Commencement goes virtual, FIU community members tested for virus

COVID-19 pandemic update: Commencement goes virtual, FIU community members tested for virus

Update No. 19

March 20, 2020 at 5:40pm

As the number of the coronavirus cases continues to grow in South Florida, the nation and the world, we continue to monitor the impact on our own university community.

FIU Student Health Clinics and FIU Health have tested a total of five patients. Two test results have come back negative; three tests are pending results.

In addition, it has come to our attention that other students have reportedly been tested for the coronavirus outside of FIU Student Health. We are in the process of confirming whether this information is accurate. To the best of our knowledge, one of those tests was negative. A qualified medical professional will take a full history of where these students have been and, following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols, will make appropriate notifications to members of the university community.  

At this moment we have one confirmed case in the university community: It is likely a travel-related case and the employee has not been back to campus since returning from the trip. As such, there is no indication, thus far, that the FIU community has been exposed by this individual.

We wish each of these members of our community a speedy recovery and hope that this news underscores the urgent need to practice social distancing. It is time to take personal responsibility for our own health and that of everyone around us. You may have heard that young people are less likely to develop symptoms if they are exposed to the virus. In some cases, young people who do not show any symptoms may nevertheless be carriers of the virus and are therefore able to spread it to the community unknowingly.

Please take advantage of the fact that we are learning and working remotely and stay home to support our national goal of social distancing. Each of us must take this threat seriously. Social distancing and good hand washing practicing are ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Spring Commencement

Because social distancing is so critical to defeating the coronavirus pandemic, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called for university commencements to be canceled or be delivered remotely.

At FIU we feel it is important to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and are planning a virtual commencement this spring. We will issue refunds to graduates who have already bought commencement tickets. Please look for details in the coming days.

In addition, we will give all spring graduates the option of taking a photo with President Mark B. Rosenberg and walking in the summer or fall ceremonies.

Please note that all on and off campus events are canceled through May 10.


We have received many questions about possible reimbursements. Please know that we are working through a number of issues and will continue to communicate with you as information becomes available.


Now that we have been working remotely, cybercriminals have been ramping up their tactics to take advantage of those who do not have adequate security measures at home. The best defenses against online threats are education and awareness. We urge you to become knowledgeable and learn how to spot fraudulent emails and other forms of scams that can cause harm to your identity and to university resources. 

Remember that FIU will never ask for your username, password or sensitive information via email. We encourage everyone to enroll in Two-Factor Authentication, as it adds another layer of protection to your accounts. Also, this is a great time to complete your Cybersecurity Awareness Training.

To learn more about phishing and its many forms, visit To learn how to secure your home WiFi network, please consult our tips.

Learning and working from home

Working and learning from home full time (and often extra time) is a new experience for most of us. It is important that each of us is focused on keeping ourselves, our family and colleagues healthy and feeling supported. 

We have a page of virtual classes, events and tours that you may find useful in establishing your new routine and staying physically and mentally healthy.

Your health

FIU Health and the Student Health Clinics are seeing patients by appointment only. All patients should call ahead and speak with a provider prior to entering the premises. Again, for the safety and welfare of all, please call ahead. 

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.

Counseling and Psychological Services and the Victim Empowerment Program are operating remotely. Consultations will be held over the phone or by videoconference (through a HIPAA-compliant platform). To schedule an appointment, please call 305-348-2277 and leave a message.

If you need immediate services, please call our 24-Hour hotline 305-348-2277 (CAPS) to speak with a licensed clinician.

Panthers helping Panthers

Many of our students live paycheck to paycheck and cannot withstand the financial impacts of social distancing. Panther Protection: FIU Paying it Forward will help those who find themselves in an emergency financial situation and are facing difficulties that threaten to interrupt their education. Grants are coordinated through the Office of Student Scholarships.

The University Hardship Fund provides emergency financial assistance to faculty and staff who have exhausted other avenues for obtaining assistance. The fund is sponsored by the Tender Loving Care (TLC) Brigade and grants are coordinated through the Office of Employee Assistance.

To support these critical Ignite funds, please visit:

The FIU student food pantries are still available. In lieu of the weekly 10-pound food allowance, students will receive pre-made bags containing an assortment of food and non-perishable items, while supplies last at the following distribution locations:

MMC Pantry
GC Main Office (GC 1210)

Monday through Friday, noon – 5 p.m.

305-348-6995 or 305-348-3204

BBC Pantry
WUC Panther Square- Information desk

Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Please remain informed about university operations by visiting FIU’s coronavirus webpage. We are continuously updating the site with the latest decisions and resources. 

 The FIU Call Center is closed until further notice. If you have questions, please reach out to OneStop at, phone 305-348-7000, or via chat from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.

 Stay safe and healthy!