BOTHELL – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded nearly $31.9 million to the University of Washington for expenses incurred during the first 163 days of the COVID-19 response. The funding was made available under major disaster declaration FEMA-DR-4481-WA approved on March 22.

FEMA has obligated $31,890,041.63 in expedited funding for the State of Washington to disburse to the University of Washington. This award reimburses the 75 percent federal cost share associated with buying Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), medical supplies, and equipment for the University of Washington’s Emergency Operation Center and Medical Operations Center between January 20 and through June 30. These costs include the labor and contracts to purchase and distribute PPE and supplies, as well as the movement of these supplies and personnel across multiple University of Washington medical facilities.

“The University of Washington has been a leader in the COVID-19 response, and we are pleased to provide this grant to help them manage the financial demands of the pandemic,” said Mike O’Hare, FEMA Region 10 Administrator.

This obligation is in accordance with section 502 of the Robert T. Stafford Act, under which eligible emergency protective measures taken at the direction or guidance of public health officials to respond to the COVID-19 emergency may be reimbursed under Category B of the agency’s Public Assistance program. Emergency medical care activities eligible under COVID-19 disaster declarations include the purchase of PPE, durable medical equipment, and consumable medical supplies necessary to respond to COVID-19 cases.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides funding for emergency actions undertaken by communities to protect public safety, providing at least a 75 percent funding share for eligible costs not authorized under other Federal statutes. Remaining costs are the responsibility of the state and local applicants for assistance.

For the COVID-19 response, FEMA has simplified the Public Assistance application and funding process to address the magnitude of this event and to allow local officials to receive eligible funding more quickly. These reimbursements can play a critical role as state, local, and tribal officials work tirelessly to assist their communities during this response.

For more information on the whole-of-America response to COVID-19, visit