Instacart will cover the cost of its shoppers' COVID-19 screenings

It'll also ask them and customers to wear masks whenever they interact.

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La trabajadora de la aplicación Instacart, Saori Okawa, compra verduras para entregarlas en casa el miércoles 1 de julio de 2020 en San Leandro, California. (AP Foto/Ben Margot)

Instacart will cover the cost of COVID-19 screenings and virtual medical appointments for shoppers until the end of the year. The company ran a pilot project on that front earlier in the summer in Pennsylvania and Washington, DC, and now it’s rolling out the program nationwide.

When a shopper shows symptoms of COVID-19, they can take an online assessment. Depending on the results, they can set up a telemedicine consultation with a Doctor On Demand clinician to determine whether they should undertake a COVID-19 screening. If they are diagnosed with the disease, shoppers will be “eligible to receive up to 14 days of extended pay to provide financial support during their recovery,” the company said.

Meanwhile, starting next week, shoppers and customers will see safety reminders in the app, including prompts to wear masks when they interact with each other and for shoppers to do so while in stores. Instacart says it has provided shoppers with almost 450,000 health and safety kits, which include a mask and hand sanitizer. Even if shoppers have already received a kit, they can order a mask from Instacart if they need another one. Before the company started distributing the kits in early April, shoppers who felt it wasn’t offering adequate COVID-19 protections went on strike.

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