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Coronavirus Outbreak May impact Electric Car-Maker Tesla’s California Factory

Musk earlier underplayed the coronavirus scare

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Tesla
Tesla's human resources head Valerie Workman reportedly wrote an email to employees, saying Tesla could be exempted from the order to close as its operations might come under "essential business" category. Wikimedia Commons

San Francisco Bay Area’s new coronavirus shelter-in-place order that requires all “non-essential businesses” shut down for three weeks will also impact Elon Musk-led electric carmaker Tesla’s California factory, according to county officials and the local sheriff’s office.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office tweeted late Tuesday that Tesla is “not an essential business as defined in the Alameda County Health Order,” and said “Tesla can maintain minimum basic operations” per the order, The Verge reported.

“Minimum Basic Operations” are defined by the order as “(t)he minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions,” and “(t)he minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences.”

The clarification came after Tesla kept its factory open on Tuesday, the first day that the new guidance issued with an intention to contain the spread of coronavirus came in place. Leaders of six counties in the Bay Area issued the shelter-in-place order on Monday.

The order requires people to stay at home unless they need to venture out for “essential activities” like buying food. It also asked “non-essential businesses” to shut down.

Tesla’s human resources head Valerie Workman reportedly wrote an email to employees, saying Tesla could be exempted from the order to close as its operations might come under “essential business” category.

Tesla
San Francisco Bay Area’s new coronavirus shelter-in-place order that requires all “non-essential businesses” shut down for three weeks will also impact Elon Musk-led electric carmaker Tesla’s California factory, according to county officials and the local sheriff’s office. Wikimedia Commons

Musk earlier underplayed the coronavirus scare. After calling coronavirus panic dumb and mind-killer on Twitter, Musk wrote an email to employees in Bay Area, saying “coronavirus panic is worse than virus itself”.

“First, I’d like to be super clear that if you feel the slightest bit ill or even uncomfortable, please don’t feel obligated to come to work. I will personally be at work, but that is just me. Totally ok if you want to stay home for any reason,” he said in the email seen by electrek.co.

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“A lot of rumours are flying around, but, to the best of our knowledge, no one at Tesla (over 56,000 people) has tested positive for COVID-19. I will inform you immediately if anything changes,” he added. (IANS)

 

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Tesla To Reduce Number of On-Site Workers at its Naveda Gigafactory Amidst Coronavirus Concerns

Tesla told employees in an internal memo that two office staffers have been tested positive for COVID-19 who are now working from home

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Tesla
Recently, Tesla confirmed two office employees had tested positive for COVID-19, but did not specify where those workers were located. Wikimedia Commons

Tesla has announced that it is reducing the number of on-site workers at its Nevada gigafactory by 75 per cent in response to the growing spread of coronavirus.

It’s not clear how long Tesla’s staff reduction will last, how many employees it affects or whether they will be paid during their time off, reports New York Post.

The plant produces battery packs and electric motors for the Model 3 sedan, Tesla’s most popular car.

Additionally, Panasonic, which helps make Tesla’s batteries in a section of the Gigafactory, suspended its operations last week.
Panasonic said it would ramp down operations and then close for 14 days.

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Recently, Tesla confirmed two office employees had tested positive for COVID-19, but did not specify where those workers were located.

Tesla told employees in an internal memo that two office staffers have been tested positive for COVID-19 who are now working from home.

Tesla
Tesla has announced that it is reducing the number of on-site workers at its Nevada gigafactory by 75 per cent in response to the growing spread of coronavirus. Pixabay

The automaker suspended production last week at its car factory in the San Francisco Bay Area after a dispute with local officials.

Musk, however, said that his Gigafactory facility in New York will reopen to begin producing ventilators that are in short supply in the US.

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Musk has also donated 50,000 N95 surgical masks and various protective items to a hospital in the US. (IANS)