Google employees have been instructed to take weekly molecular COVID-19 tests
Google will require anyone going to one of its US offices or facilities to have received a negative molecular test for COVID-19, the company informed employees Thursday in a memo. Workers going to the office regularly will have to get tested weekly, chief 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 offers free at-home testing to full-time employees and contract workers through BioIQ’s PCR-based nasal swab tests, Erickson said, but many reports came out this week that full-time employees also have access to molecular tests from Cue Health that can give results in just a few minutes. Contractors, on the other hand, are specifically being offered the mail-in BioIQ tests, according to a tweet from the Alphabet Workers Union, which means they must wait longer for a result. Erickson tells us that some Google contractors at the company’s data centers have access to rapid on-site testing using the Cue machines, though.
The changes arrive as COVID-19 cases have surged across the country and as the omicron variant spreads. These new policies add to Google’s directive from December requiring employees to get vaccinated or risk being forced to take leave and eventually be fired. The company delayed its mandatory return to the office to some point this year in August.