Samsung will reportedly test remote work program as South Korea copes with new COVID-19 cases

Samsung Electronics will reportedly begin trialing a work-from-home program for some employees next month in South Korea as the country deals with its largest increase in COVID-19 cases since March. According to Reuters, a company official said the pilot program will be open to some employees at Samsung’s mobile phone and consumer electronics divisions, and may be implemented more broadly after an assessment.

After stabilizing in April, confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Korea have begun climbing again over the past few weeks. According to data from John Hopkins University of Medicine, as of August 27, there had been 4,503 cases new cases and 13 deaths recorded over the past month, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 18,706 and deaths to 313.

The country had previously been able to mostly contain the spread of the disease through widespread testing, contact tracing and movement restriction orders.

But the recent outbreak, which South Korean president Moon Jae-in described as “the biggest crisis since coronavirus came into our country,” means the country will reinstate its emergency-response system for COVID-19, which may mean stricter social-distancing orders that limit all gatherings to 10 people.

In June, one of Samsung Electronics South Korean research centers was closed and 1,200 employees were ordered to work from home after an employee’s child tested positive for COVID-19. In April, the company said it had established regional response teams for its workforce around the world and “strongly advised employees to work from home where possible.”

TechCrunch has contacted Samsung Electronics for comment.