According to a report by CNBC, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has deemed Tesla employees working at the company’s Fremont, California factory “essential workers”. This move exempts Tesla employees from California’s new Limited Stay at Home order.
The California Department of Public Health has deemed Tesla employees "essential workers" in the state and exempted the company from new COVID-19 health orders announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom this week. https://t.co/ev4HNVaB2O
— NBC 7 San Diego (@nbcsandiego) November 21, 2020
The order imposes a curfew upon Californians, requiring that all nonessential work and gatherings cease between the hours of 10 PM and 5 AM.
With Tesla employees declared “essential workers”, the workforce at the Tesla Factory can continue operating it under the company’s existing COVID-19 guidelines. This is good considering further impositions from the California government could have definitively turned CEO Elon Musk against Tesla’s home state.
When probed by CNBC about Tesla, the CPHD reinforced that its employees are classified as “essential workers”, writing:
“The Limited Stay at Home Order does not apply to these employees as they are deemed essential workers – manufacturing is listed as an essential workforce. You can find more here. The Critical Manufacturing Sector identifies several industries to serve as the core of the sector including Transportation Equipment Manufacturing Products. While operating, this sector must follow industry guidance for manufacturing.”
While the state of California will not be levying any further restrictions on Tesla employees moving forward, the Alameda County administration, which governs the Fremont area, could place additional restrictions not imposed by the state.
While Alameda County has done nothing of the sort yet, in a press statement to CNBC on Nov. 16, the county said: “As the situation develops, we may need to further restrict activities to slow the spread of the virus.”
During the initial spread of COVID-19 in California, the Alameda County Public Health department made Tesla power down the Fremont factory to minimum basic operations. CEO Elon Musk, who’s had a mind-boggling brush with the virus himself, did not take too kindly to that and decided to ignore the county’s rules and restart production at the plant.
The CDPH’s decision is certainly good news for Tesla, as the company needs its Fremont factory operating at peak production capacity to meet its goal of 500,000 vehicle deliveries by the end of 2020.