Google requires everyone who goes to any of its US offices or facilities to receive a negative molecular test for COVID-19, the company told employees Thursday in a memo obtained by CNBC. Employees who go to the office regularly will be required to get tested weekly, health official Karen DeSalvo said in the memo, and employees have been asked to report their vaccination status. and wear surgical grade masks indoors.
Google spokesperson Lora Lee Erickson confirmed that The edge that a new temporary COVID-19 policy is now being implemented, where “everyone who visits our sites in the US is expected to undergo a recent negative COVID-19 molecular test before arriving on site” and that it will include various types of testing offers for free.
Google is offering free home testing to full-time employees and contract workers through BioIQ’s PCR-based nasal swabs, Erickson said, but Bloomberg reported this week that full-time employees also have access to Cue Health molecular tests that can provide results in minutes. Contractors, on the other hand, are specifically offered the mail-in BioIQ tests, according to a tweet from the Alphabet Workers Union, which means they have to wait longer for a result. Erickson tells us that some Google contractors in the company’s data centers have access to quick on-site tests using the Cue machines.
The changes come as COVID-19 cases have risen across the country and as the ommicron variant spreads. This new policy complements Google’s December directive that requires employees to be vaccinated or at risk of being forced to take leave and ultimately be fired. The company postponed its mandatory return to office until sometime this August.
This week, Meta also increased its employee health policy, requiring everyone who returns to its offices by the end of March must have received a booster dose of a vaccine.