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Tesla has expressed reluctance to close its factory’s doors since the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak- and it seems like that’s still the case.
Back in January -when the virus’ death toll was already 106-Tesla forewent advice to halt production of its vehicles until circumstances change. Instead, the company responded with a gesture- free access to Supercharging stations in China until the “epidemic is resolved”.
Some 7,954 deaths later, and Tesla still insists on continuing production, while also having no definitive strategy to protect its workers.
Currently, local California officials are evaluating if Tesla will be granted exemption from the three-week lockdown in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A spokesman for California’s Alameda County -the location of Tesla’s Fremont factory- reports that the county is liaising with lawyers and health officials regarding the decision:
“Part of Tesla’s operations might fall under an exemption in the (county’s) order, but making cars and pumping them out at the end of the assembly line is another question.”
Musk, seemingly underwhelmed by the crisis, told employees that he was unaware of any confirmed cases within the company, and advised employees to stay at home if they’re “the slightest bit ill or even uncomfortable.” Meanwhile, 273 cases have been reported in just Bay area counties alone.
The California Department of Public Health rule has said that guidance will be issued in the following days and that California will issue any shutdown guidelines for manufacturing facilities if required.
We can only hope that Tesla will make decisions in the best interest of its employees, rather than its sales targets.