October 2, 2020
1. Question: Can the Institutional Portion of my institution’s allocation under section 18004(a)(1) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act be used to purchase COVID-19-related essentials such as thermometers, cleaning supplies, or other supplies for sanitizing a facility?
Answer: Yes. Purchases to ensure the physical safety of students on campus is an allowable use of a grantee’s Institutional Portion of its allocation under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, when these costs are new or added and needed to implement “significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.”
This may include the reasonable costs of cleaning supplies, facility cleaning, or the purchase of items to help detect or prevent the spread of COVID-19 (e.g., thermometers, plastic barriers, or face masks). Grantees may also use these funds to make nonpermanent changes to existing facilities to ensure social distancing.
As with all grant costs, institutions must maintain adequate documentation as required by 2 CFR § 200.333 and 2 CFR § 200.403(g) to support the reasonableness of these costs, consistent with the cost principles in 2 CFR part 200 subpart E of the Uniform Guidance.