Google is offering its US employees free weekly COVID-19 tests that they can administer at home

Google is offering its US employees free weekly COVID-19 tests that they can administer at home
Carsten Koall/Getty Images
  • Google is offering its US workers a new perk: Free weekly COVID-19 testing kits. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.
  • The kits are provided through a partnership with the healthcare company BioIQ.
  • All 90,000 US employees are eligible, including those who work for subsidiaries like YouTube, and they can request up to two tests each week.

Tech giant Google is providing free weekly coronavirus tests for all 90,000 of its US employees that they can administer themselves, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. It appears to be the largest company testing effort aimed at staff who are working from home.

The perk was so popular that the website where employees can sign up for the new perk, operated by BioIQ, the biotech firm that's providing the tests, crashed after it went live on Thursday.

All US employees, including those who work for Google's companies like YouTube, are eligible for free tests, which they're guaranteed to receive within three days of submitting a request.
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The search giant will pay BioIQ $50 per test, The Hill reported, and they could cost the company as much as $4.5 million per week.

The benefit, aimed at asymptomatic carriers, comes as coronavirus cases continue to soar across the country and the first vaccines are delivered to healthcare workers. Friday evening, the Food and Drug Administration authorized a second vaccine, developed by biotech firm Moderna, for emergency use.

Google is offering its US employees free weekly COVID-19 tests that they can administer at home
Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Employees can test themselves up to two times each week

It's not uncommon for companies to offer coronavirus testing to their office workers, but Google is among the largest companies so far to offer testing to stay-at-home employees.
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Google let its massive US workforce work from home beginning in March. They won't be back in the office until September of next year, the company said this week.

The testing kit, distributed by BioIQ, is a nasal swab that employees can administer on their own and send in for analysis. Google said employees can get up to two tests each week, and that the tests are recommended but not mandatory. While the program is only available to US employees, Google said it would extend the benefit to international employees next year.
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This story was updated to clarify that the website that crashed was operated by BioIQ, not Google.

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