Welcome to Spring Semester at Point Park University. Today, I want to address two topics: COVID testing on campus and Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act I and II money.
As a part of our semester return protocol last week, free COVID testing was available to all students, faculty and staff. I am happy to report that 1,204 people took advantage of the testing with the results showing a less than 1 percent positivity rate.
This is no time to let our guard down when it comes to COVID. I encourage everyone to continue following all COVID guidelines we have in place while you are on campus, including masking, social distancing and following appropriate hygiene steps to prevent the spread of the COVID virus.
Because of the low positivity rate, at this time there are no plans to repeat broad based testing on campus. The University will follow the protocols already in place from last semester to test only symptomatic students. We will continue to evaluate the situation and adjust testing protocols as necessary.
CARES Act I and II are emergency relief funds passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from the COVID 19 pandemic. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund, which provides money for colleges and universities, including Point Park and its students.
In the University’s last fiscal year, which ended August 31, 2020, Point Park received $1.8 million and an additional $1.6 million for emergency aid to students. To date in this fiscal year, Point Park has been awarded $4.2 million with an additional $1.6 million for emergency aid to students. Students with COVID-related financial needs should look for more information in the near future.
These funds were designated by the federal government and can only be used to offset the University’s costs related to the pandemic and to assist students with grants to be used for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. There is specific guidance from the federal government how this money can be used and the University is following all guidelines.
I will continue to update you on any further changes related to testing as well as CARES Act money. Thank you for all that you are doing this Spring Semester.