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Google pushes back US office reopening plan after surge in Covid-19 cases

Google is pushing back a plan to reopen its US offices after coronavirus cases surged in several western and southern states.

All US offices will remain closed until Sept. 7 at the earliest, according to a memo Google sent to employees. In May, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said the company would cautiously move some workers back in starting July 6.

Covid-19 is spreading fast again in the US, prompting some states to reverse earlier decisions to relax lockdowns. California, where Google is based, reported its second-biggest jump in new cases on Tuesday.

“While conditions do vary from state to state, we need to see that the US outlook as a whole is stable before we move forward,” Chris Rackow, vice president of global security, wrote in the memo. “As the recent resurgence of cases demonstrates, Covid-19 is still very much alive in our communities.” Bloomberg News obtained a copy of the memo.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google was among the first major US companies to send employees home back in March and has already told workers no one will be forced to return to the office for the remainder of the year.

“For all of you that are working from home, please continue to do so unless you are told otherwise by your manager,” Rackow wrote in the latest memo. “We don’t expect this guidance to change until Monday, September 7 (Labor Day) at the earliest.

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