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Tesla tries to calm coronavirus fears at California plant: Report

Paul Best

Tesla’s safety chief, Laurie Shelby, tried to reassure employees concerned about coronavirus in an internal email, telling them that there have been "zero COVID-19 workplace transmissions” at the company’s Fremont, California, factory.

The email, which was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday, said employees who have tested positive have followed safety protocol “in most instances,” and exposure only happened “outside the workplace primarily through family members or housemates.”

ELON MUSK PERPLEXED OVER TESLA'S SKY-HIGH STOCK

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that supervisors told their teams the company had several cases of coronavirus.

Tesla has a lot riding on the safety of its plants, as they controversially restarted production in May.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on May 11, “Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.”

Musk also sued Alameda County, where the plant is located, but eventually withdrew it and agreed to a deal that would allow Tesla to restart production with certain safety protocols in place.

Musk has called the stay-at-home orders “fundamentally a violation of the constitution” and even reportedly lobbied President Donald Trump in May to reopen the country.

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Tesla could be forced to halt production again if there is an uncontrollable spread of coronavirus in its factories. The CDC’s deputy director for infectious diseases, Jay Butler, told reporters Friday that strict social distancing measures may need to be re-implemented if there is a spike in cases.

Tesla’s stock surged all week but lost some of its luster Friday after being downgraded by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, closing down 3.86 percent.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

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