Monday, March 1

Google is offering free, weekly Covid-19 tests to its employees

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Google has announced another perk for its employees: free, weekly, at-home tests for all its employees in the US, which includes its subsidiaries such as YouTube and Google X as well. This is vastly different from other companies such as Amazon that are offering free tests to only the employees who are working from a physical location.

As per a report by The Wall Street Journal, Google has partnered with BioIQ for the same and that it is paying the company $50 per test. This totals to $4.5 million per week assuming that all 90,000 employees take the test.

The report states that Google has promised its employees that they will receive the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kit two to four days after requesting it and once they send their tests back to the lab, they will get the results within two days of the lab receiving it.

Google, in a statement to The Verge, said that while this program is available only to the Google employees residing in the US at this point, it would be expanding the same to its employees across the globe in 2021. Furthermore, the company said when this program is expanded, even the interns will be eligible for it. This would help in reducing the spread of the infection via asymptomatic carriers.

Separately, Alphabet Inc CEO Sundar Pichai has told the employees that the company is now planning to reopen the offices in September 2021. He also said that once the employees return, the company would test a hybrid approach wherein the employees will work in the office for three days and rest two days will be spent working from home. Additionally, the company is also looking into distributing Covid-19 vaccines to its employees.