The last month has brought countless changes to the world around us, and I am reminded daily of both the remarkable circumstances facing Dashers and Caviar Couriers and the incredible ways in which they’re responding to support each other, local businesses, and customers. They are on the front lines, delivering meals to families staying at home, groceries to homebound seniors, and school lunches to children in need. As I wrote to one Dasher this week, the work that she and her fellow Dashers do every day – especially during these challenging times – is nothing short of extraordinary. That’s why we’re doing more to support Dashers and Couriers as they work so hard to serve others.
To help Dashers and Couriers protect themselves while they’re on the road, we’re investing in more personal protective equipment for them. In addition to continuing to distribute — and replenish as necessary — hand sanitizer, gloves, and wipes for Dashers and Couriers around the world, we’ve also secured an order for over 2 million consumer-grade face masks and will begin distributing these supplies as soon as possible.*
Even as testing capacity for COVID-19 increases, tests are not widely available. Although a significant majority of Dashers tell us that they have health insurance, we also know that medical appointments can be difficult to access. Through Doctor On Demand, one of the nation’s leading healthcare platforms, all U.S.-based Dashers and Couriers will be able to take an online risk assessment for COVID-19. In the coming days, they will also be able to receive discounted virtual urgent care visits. And for eligible Dashers and Couriers, these virtual urgent care appointments will cost just $4 — giving them peace of mind, helping them access the care and assistance they need, and promoting public health for the entire community.
Last month, we announced the creation of a COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program to help eligible Dashers and Couriers who are individually instructed to self-quarantine by a medical professional or public health official, or who are diagnosed with COVID-19. The goal of this program is to provide financial assistance to Dashers and Couriers who are sick, who are at higher risk, or who live with someone who is at higher risk. With the new telehealth access we are making available, it will be easier for eligible Dashers and Couriers who are sick to obtain the financial assistance they need thanks to a doctor’s note.
In these extraordinary times, Dashers are doing more than ever to serve their communities. Dasher earnings have increased by $5 per active hour as compared to this time last year, and Dashers are averaging over $22 per active hour over the past week nationally.
Our platform has also provided work opportunities to new Dashers, many of whom are seeking financial stability as they are seeing their hours decreased, or are even losing their jobs. In the past two weeks alone, Dashers have earned more than $140 million, with new Dashers making almost 8% of that — money that they can use to supplement assistance they are eligible to receive from state and federal programs.
No one person, no one company can unilaterally address the vast challenges that we face. The steps we’ve announced today are part of our ongoing commitment to Dashers, Couriers, and the communities in which we all live — and we are all in this together. From leaders at all levels of government, to non-profit and community organizations, to parents juggling work and their newfound roles as teachers, to medical professionals caring for the sick, I am inspired by the stories of decency and heroism that I hear and read. We stand ready to continue to serve our community, and to serve those who serve others.
* These masks are not suitable for healthcare professionals, but there is some evidence that these masks may limit asymptomatic transmission. We have donated higher-grade masks to medical facilities in the Bay Area.
**This blog post shares some of the ways we are supporting Dashers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Given that circumstances are rapidly changing, we may iterate on or modify our approach, including the type, amount, criteria, and duration of aid or program, as conditions change.