Google will require anyone visiting any of its offices or facilities in the United States to have received a negative molecular test for COVID-19, the company informed its employees Thursday in a memo obtained by CNBC. Workers who come into the office regularly will be required to get tested weekly, health officer Karen DeSalvo said in the memo, and employees have been asked to report their vaccination status. and wear surgical-grade masks indoors.
Google spokeswoman Lora Lee Erickson confirmed The edge that a new temporary COVID-19 policy is now being implemented that “everyone accessing our locations in the United States must obtain a recent negative COVID-19 molecular test before coming on site” and that it offers various types of tests free of charge.
Google is offering free at-home testing to full-time employees and contract workers through BioIQ’s PCR-based nasal swab testing, Erickson said, but Bloomberg reported this week that full-time employees also have access to Cue Health’s molecular tests that can provide results in just minutes. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are specifically offered the BioIQ tests by mail, 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 do, however, have access to rapid on-site testing using the Cue machines.
The changes come as COVID-19 cases have spiked across the country and the omicron variant is spreading. These new policies are in addition to Google’s December directive requiring employees to get vaccinated or risk being forced to take time off and possibly be fired. The company delayed its mandatory return to the office at some point this year in August.
This week, Meta also tightened its health policies for employees, requiring anyone returning to its offices when they open in late March to have received a booster dose of a vaccine.