Tesla CEO Elon Musk earlier this week re-opened his Fremont, California, plant in defiance of public health orders. On Wednesday, local time, the Fremont Police Department inspected the factory. Since the end of March, Tesla’s plant has been restricted from operating because of a blockade order designed to prevent a local outbreak of the new coronavirus.
Musk, who has been publicly resisting the blockade, took to Twitter on Saturday to attack Erica Pan, the interim health official in Alameda County, and threatened to move Tesla’s operations out of California if the local government did not immediately approve the restart. Tesla also filed a lawsuit against Alameda County over the blockade.
In the first half of the week, production workers at Tesla’s Fremont plant began working shifts, some of whom said they feared the virus, but risked losing their jobs if they chose to stay at home. Local health authorities have now approved Tesla to resume part of the plant’ work, but not all of it. “We have approved Tesla’s expansion from the lowest level of business operations to prepare for next week’s operation,” Alameda County health officials said in an emailed statement Wednesday night local time. “
Valerie Capers Workman, Tesla’s head of human resources, said in an email to California employees on Wednesday: “I am pleased to share the news that local health officials announced last night that the Fremont plant could expand this week as we prepare to fully operational.” “