Tesla Update: County Clarifies Fremont Plant Isn’t An ‘Essential Business’, Orders Plant Shutdown

An ongoing health order prevents Tesla from operating at full capacity

Tesla Model Y rear

Earlier this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company’s Fremont, California plant would remain open in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. For its part, Alameda County and the San Francisco Bay area entered a lockdown state and issued a “shelter-in-place” order. That advises the public to stay home and restricts businesses to “minimum basic operations”, according to the health order and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department.

That news comes on the heels of Musk’s earlier e-mail to employees. In that correspondence, he said that the factory would remain open as usual, but asked workers who feel ill or “uncomfortable” to stay home. This clarification forces Tesla to shut down manufacturing and deliveries in Fremont. To reference the county’s concern, the plant currently employs more around 10,000 workers. Apart from the essential functions, the company will not be able to continue normal production for the duration of the health order.

Tesla is in the process of ramping up production for the Model Y crossover. As coronavirus continues to grip the area and new cases emerge, it’s unclear exactly how long these measures will need to keep happening to curb its spread. Ultimately, the company may well delay some Model Y deliveries to customers, and this could throw off Tesla’s other upcoming models like the Cybertruck as well.

At time of writing on Wednesday, Tesla’s stock prices fell to $388, down 10 percent.