Google will provide free, once-a-week COVID-19 tests to any employee who wants them.
Announced earlier in the week, the tech giant’s internal site crashed due to the rush of applicants. Google employs more than 90,000 people across the company and subsidiaries Google X, YouTube, fiber internet, and artificial intelligence, who will all immediately gain access to the polymerase chain reaction test.
The PCR test is a self-administered nasal swab, and Google contracted with healthcare firm BioIQ to provide testing materials and help organize the lab testing of samples. Google will pay BioIQ $50 per test.
The company, which has previously stated it won’t expect employees back in the office until September 2021 at the earliest, becomes the largest employer to focus a comprehensive rollout plan to its remote workforce. Companies with employees reporting in person have already begun requiring employees to test for the virus.
Although the tests are not required by Google yet, the company has recommended employees participate in the program.
More than 300,000 people have died from complications arising from COVID-19 in the United States, according to the New York Times coronavirus tracker.