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Gov. Ducey announces $46 million for ASU to help manage COVID-19

The funds will help reimburse ASU for 'COVID-related costs,' including coronavirus testing and the transition to online and hybrid learning

20200302 Arizona Governor Doug Ducey

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey addresses the state about COVID-19 at the Arizona Department of Health Services on Monday, March 2, 2020, in Phoenix.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Wednesday that $115 million would be provided to the state's public universities to support and cover costs related to COVID-19.

The $115 million will be split between Arizona's three public universities, with ASU and UA receiving $46 million and NAU receiving $23, according to a press release

The money comes from the CARES Act, which was signed into law in March, and will "reimburse a portion of ASU's COVID-related costs," according to a statement from the University. Those costs include isolation and quarantine management, the transition to ASU Sync and COVID-19 testing. 

“The funds helped the university continue to provide a learning and teaching environment that enabled students to continue their studies and stay on track toward graduation," the statement read.

In the press release, Ducey thanked ASU and President Michael Crow for their efforts to keep students and faculty safe amid the pandemic. The governor also sighted specifics, such as rapid testing, additional PPE and enhanced contact tracing among other progressive actions made by the school. 

“The battle against this pandemic has called on all sectors from all corners of our state to mobilize resources and resilience as we confront these formidable challenges,” Arizona Board of Regents Chairman Larry E. Penley said in a statement.

Crow tweeted his thanks to Ducey and his "decision to allocate CARES Act funding to reimburse some costs related to our #COVID19 management strategy."

To date, ASU has received over $69 million in COVID-19 relief funding from the state, according to the statement by Ducey, on top of the $63.5 million ASU received in April from the Department of Education's CARES Act funding.

Testing has been a large part of ASU’s COVID-19 management. According to the most recent update, ASU has collected approximately 167,431 tests from students and employees since Aug. 1. Some of the money has gone toward the Biodesign Institute, which provides free COVID-19 testing to students and faculty.

READ MORE: Active COVID-19 cases within ASU community rise slightly

“There have been major expenditures the University underwent to get the (COVID-19) testing program up and running to provide tests and availability,” said Joshua LaBaer, the executive director of the Biodesign Institute in a press briefing Wednesday. “So, some of that's going to reimburse those costs, including instruments and such.”

LaBaer said the Biodesign Institute would also be launching new COVID-19 research programs, including one to monitor the immunity to the coronavirus within the community as vaccines are distributed in Arizona.

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Morgan FischerPolitics Editor

Morgan Fischer is the politics editor, she works with her desk to cover topics related to politics in the ASU community. She has previously worked as an intern for RightThisMinute. 

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