Google is now requiring office workers to get weekly molecular COVID-19 tests.
In a message acquired by CNBC on Thursday, Google warned staff that anyone visiting one of its US offices or facilities must have received a negative COVID-19 molecular test.
Employees who come to work on a regular basis will be checked weekly, according to chief health officer Karen DeSalvo’s memo, and they will be required to disclose their vaccination status and wear surgical-grade masks indoors.
Google spokesperson Lora Lee Erickson confirmed to The Verge that a new temporary COVID-19 policy is now in effect, stating that “anyone accessing our sites in the US is expected to obtain a recent negative COVID-19 molecular test before coming onsite,” and that the company is providing a variety of tests for free.
According to Erickson, Google provides free at-home testing to full-time employees and contract workers using BioIQ’s PCR-based nose swab tests, but full-time employees also have access to Cue Health’s molecular tests, which can provide results in just a few minutes.
According to a tweet from the Alphabet Workers Union, contractors are being offered the mail-in BioIQ tests, which means they will have to wait longer for a response.
However, according to Erickson, some Google contractors working in the company’s datacenters have access to Cue computers for speedy on-site testing.
COVID-19 cases are on the rise across the country, and the omicron version is spreading.
These new restrictions are in addition to Google’s December guideline, which said that all members must be vaccinated.
Meta also tightened its staff health regulations this week, requiring anyone returning to the company’s headquarters at the end of March to have taken a booster dosage of a vaccine.