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 obtained by CNBC. Karen DeSalvo, chief health officer, stated that workers who visit the office frequently will need to be tested every week. Employees were also asked to report their current vaccination status and to wear surgical-grade masks indoors.
Google spokesperson Lora Lee Erickson confirmed to The Verge that a new temporary COVID-19 policy is now being implemented, one where “anyone accessing our sites in the US are expected to obtain a recent negative COVID-19 molecular test before coming onsite” and that it’s offering various kinds of tests at no cost.
Google offers free at-home testing to full-time employees and contract workers through BioIQ’s PCR-based nasal swab tests, Erickson said, but Bloomberg reported this week that full-time employees also have access to molecular tests from Cue Health that can give results in just a few minutes. Contrary to what Erickson stated, contractors are being offered mail-in BioIQ tests. This means that they will have to wait longer for results. Erickson informs us that certain Google contractors have access to on-site testing via the Cue machines.
The changes arrive as COVID-19 cases have surged across the country and as the omicron variant spreads.