San Francisco: Google is offering free weekly Covid-19 tests to 90,000 employees in the US.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, every US Google employee (and its subsidiaries, including YouTube) will be eligible to sign up for a free at-home test.
Google is paying its partner, BioIQ, $50 per test, according to the report.
This comes out to $4.5 million per week when multiplied by 90,000 employees (if all of them take the Covid test).
A company spokesperson told The Verge that interns will also be eligible for the programme, and it will expand it to international employees in 2021.
Amazon currently offers Covid tests to employees who have to work in a physical location, like a retail location or warehouse.
The search-engine giant has announced to extend its work from home policy till September 2021.
Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to staff wherein he communicated that the company is mulling a fully hybrid workforce model.
He said that the company is “testing a hypothesis that a flexible work model will lead to greater productivity, collaboration, and well-being”.
According to Google, its employees may rejoin the workplace for three days a week and work from home on the rest of the days when offices reopen.
The latest announcement by Google to extend the work from home policy will apply to its all 200,000 employees globally.
Google had earlier set January 2021 as a tentative timeline for its workers to return to the office. It revised the work from home policy later till May 2021 if their roles permit.
Google also said that it is looking for opportunities in mid-to-late 2021 to help make Covid-19 vaccines available to its workers, “but only after high-risk and high-priority people globally have received the vaccines”.