Google will now allow employees to work from home until at least July 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

With the announcement, Google became the first major U.S. company to establish an extended timeline for employees to return to work as the coronavirus continues to bite down on the U.S.

As many as 200,000 full-time and contract workers are reportedly affected by the announcement, which previously had employees staying home until January 2021.

Google is reportedly expected to notify employees of the extended policy as soon as Monday, affecting workers in most of its offices, including the U.S., U.K., India, Brazil, and other countries.

Sundar Pichai, Alphabet (GOOG) chief executive, made the decision to extend the work from home policy himself, which sources for the news outlet said, was swayed by sympathy for Google employees and their families to plan for uncertainties in the school year that could also mean virtual learning from home in some areas of the country.

The move by Alphabet, Google’s parent company, puts added pressure on other corporate giants such as Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon, to extend their work from home policies during the pandemic. Twitter has said that employees can now work from home forever.

The U.S. has reported over 4.2 million positive cases of the coronavirus, with over 146,900 COVID-19 deaths as of Monday mid-morning, Johns Hopkins University reported.

Shares of Alphabet were trading at $1,534.47 as of 10:20 a.m. ET on Monday, up $23.60 or 1.56%

Silicon Valley giant Google has been one of the leading beneficiaries of the H1-B visa system that President Donald Trump is putting on hold. Silicon Valley giant Google has been one of the leading beneficiaries of the H1-B visa system that President Donald Trump is putting on hold. Photo: AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM