Tesla has confirmed to its workforce that two employees working from home tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Just over a week ago, CEO Elon Musk was talking down the actual impact of the coronavirus – saying the ‘coronavirus panic is worse than the virus itself’ in an email to Tesla employees.
At the time, Musk tried to dispel rumors that Tesla employees had the virus:
“A lot of rumors are flying around, but, to the best of our knowledge, no one at Tesla (over 56,000 people) has tested positive for COVID-19. I will inform you immediately if anything changes.”
That’s despite the fact that Tesla has thousands of employees in China and they had to temporarily shut down Gigafactory Shanghai because of the virus.
But now just over a week after Musk’s comments, Tesla is confirming that two employees have tested positive in a new email to employees obtained by Electrek.
Both employees had been working from home for “almost two weeks” before testing positive for the virus, according to Tesla.
Tesla’s HR department wrote:
“Since yesterday, two Tesla employees who had been working from home for almost two weeks tested positive for COVID-19. The employees were not symptomatic in the office, and both are quarantined at home recovering well. 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. CDC guidelines for disinfection and sanitation have been followed. In both cases, interactions with the individuals had a low likelihood of transmission based on the minimal staff onsite and social distancing measures we took earlier this month.”
In the email, the automaker doesn’t confirm where those two employees are based.
Tesla continued in the email:
“I feel this is important to share with everyone at Tesla not to cause stress or panic, but so you hear this information directly from Tesla. Our team is prepared and all appropriate steps were taken based on the recommended government guidelines.”
As we previously reported, Tesla was trying to defy local orders to shut down the Fremont factory earlier this month, but it ultimately agreed to stop most operations at both the Fremont factory and Gigafactory New York on Monday.
The automaker has been implementing social distancing measures across its operations, but it didn’t plan to close any store or service centers. However, it was first to close many stores located in malls and other proprieties that have been closing.
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