Tesla plant faces closure after local shelter-in-place order

Tesla plant faces closure after local shelter-in-place order

Building EVs is not an essential business, the local government declared.


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Tesla’s signature factory in Fremont, California, will not be excluded from Alameda county’s shelter-in-place order, issued as governments work to contain the coronavirus‘ spread. The local government will require the automaker to suspend operations and only carry out minimum work.

The 180-degree turn comes after reports on Tuesday that Tesla’s facility would not be affected by the shelter-in-place order in the Bay Area. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, however, said in a statement via Twitter on Tuesday night that Tesla “is not an essential business as defined in the Alameda County Health Order. Tesla can maintain minimum basic operations per the Alameda County Health Order.”

A county spokesperson originally told the Los Angeles Times that Tesla would be exempt from the order. The automaker did not immediately return Roadshow’s request for comment and it’s unclear if the plant has suspended operations at this point.

The Tesla plant employs over 10,000 workers and the order to cease operations comes just as the company started to deliver the Model Y electric SUV. Tesla was also forced to shut down its Shanghai-based facility temporarily as the coronavirus outbreak spread across China. There, the plant had just started to deliver Model 3 sedans to local customers.

As for what nonessential businesses can do during the shelter-in-place order, the county said maintaining the value of inventory, security and processing payroll are still permitted. Those in violation may receive a fine or be subject to prison time. Locals are still permitted to leave their homes, but only for essentials, such a trip for food or medicine.

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