FEMA Reimburses Brown $15 Million for COVID-19 Testing Program

The $15 million grant, issued through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, will cover the cost of 220,000 COVID-19 tests and associated expenses.

FEMA Reimburses Brown $15 Million for COVID-19 Testing Program

(Photo: jarun011, Adobe Stock)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown University has been awarded nearly $15 million by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to cover the cost of COVID-19 test kits and associated expenses.

The Public Assistance Grant, which totals $14,998,269, will be used to reimburse the cost of approximately 220,000 kits administered to students and staff between February and July 2021, reports The Brown Daily Herald.

“FEMA is pleased to be able to assist Brown University with its testing program,” Paul Ford, FEMA Region I acting regional administrator, wrote in an Oct. 27 press release. “Robust testing is part of the toolkit of public health measures that — coupled with increased vaccinations — will help us defeat the coronavirus pandemic.”

The grant was awarded to the university under the Safe Opening Policy for COVID-19 diagnostic testing. The school applied for the grant in September. The funding will be sent to the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) to then distribute to the university.

“With pandemic-related expenses exceeding $55 million — for priorities such as COVID-19 testing, personal protective equipment and emergency funds to allow students to study remotely — and revenue declines of more than $30 million due to cancellation of some programs, Brown closed Fiscal Year 2021 with a $52.2 million deficit in its operating budget,” University Spokesperson Brian Clark wrote in an email to The Herald.

In addition to university funding, FEMA has awarded $296 million to the state of Rhode Island for pandemic-related expenses.

FEMA’s funding for COVID-19 testing can include costs for:

  • Laboratory testing materials and test kits, including antigen self-tests
  • Contracting for testing support by a third party
  • Staffing to administer tests
  • Training for individuals to administer tests
  • Signage and other communication materials
  • Personal protective equipment and other administrative supplies to conduct testing
  • Technology to register and track testing results

According to its website, “FEMA will fund 100% of COVID-19 testing costs and will not require non-federal matching funds through December 31, 2021.”

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About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Executive Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

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