Two Tesla employee has been tested positive for COVID-19, said in an email to employees on Thursday. According to Forbes reports, the email originated from Laurie Shelby, the head of Tesla’s environmental and safety department.
This information surfaced at a time when previously, Elon Musk kept insisting to keep his Tesla factories open despite the new coronavirus spreading in the US.
The employees have been working from home for almost two weeks and did not show symptoms while working at their office, Shelby said. The email did not specify which facility the employees worked at or their roles.
The two unidentified people “had been working from home for nearly two weeks” and “were not symptomatic in the office, and both are quarantined at home and recovering well,” read the memo.
“Their direct coworkers, who were already working from home for nearly two weeks as well, were immediately notified so they can quarantine and watch for symptoms,” it added.
Tesla finally halted electric vehicle production at its main San Francisco Bay Area Plant in Fremont. Musk kept the production going despite local authorities asking the electric car-maker “that it wasn’t an essential business and needed to comply with stay-at-home rules that currently cover California”.
Workers at Tesla headquarters were given an option to work from home but thousands of plant workers continued to work.
Musk downplayed COVID-19 severity several times on Twitter, calling it the panic as “dumb,” suggesting “kids are essentially immune” and promoting anti-malaria drug chloroquine as a treatment without supporting evidence.
Musk, however, said that his Gigafactory facility in New York will reopen to begin producing ventilators that are in short supply in the US. “Working on that with Medtronic. Given NY pressing needs, we’re delivering Resmed, Philips and Medtronic ventilators to NY hospitals starting tonight,” he tweeted late Thursday.
Musk has also donated 50,000 N95 surgical masks and various protective items to a hospital in the US.