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Google presents free weekly COVID-19 assessments to US staff


Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. 

Richard Nieva/CNET

Google mentioned Friday that it is begun providing free at-home COVID-19 assessments to its employees within the US, the newest perk for an organization identified for offering lavish advantages to its staff. 

The coronavirus assessments can be found by way of BioIQ, an Atlanta-based well being care vendor that Google is partnering with to distribute the kits. Full-time employees and interns can take two assessments every week. For now this system is open to Google’s 90,000 US staff, however the firm plans to develop it globally subsequent yr, a spokesman mentioned.

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Staff can order the assessments by way of BioIQ’s web site. They’re going to obtain PCR-based nasal swab assessments, which they’ll then ship off to labs to be processed. The corporate mentioned the testing is inspired, however not required. The Wall Avenue Journal reported the information earlier. 

Google’s transfer comes as well being care staff within the US started this week to manage the primary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Nonetheless, a number of counties in Google’s residence state of California are beneath stay-at-home orders as well being officers have anxious in regards to the capability of hospitals.

Google was one of many first huge corporations to let its large worker base work at home when the pandemic took maintain earlier this yr. The corporate this week mentioned it is pushing again its return to places of work to September 2021. The tech large can also be contemplating a brand new mannequin for the workweek post-pandemic. The pilot plan would have folks work within the workplace for at the very least three days, whereas working the opposite days remotely. 

The tech large pioneered a number of fancy perks that’ve turn into the norm in Silicon Valley, together with free meals and health club service on campus. In Might, CEO Sundar Pichai mentioned the corporate would enable staff to expense as much as $1,000 for gear and furnishings of their residence places of work, corresponding to standing desks and ergonomic chairs. 

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