2 Tesla employees test positive for coronavirus days after boss Elon Musk downplayed Covid-19
Yasmin Ahmed March 27, 2020
Two Tesla employees have tested positive for coronavirus, the company informed its employees in an email. Although it is not clear in which sector those employees were working, they are being quarantined, the email said.
According to reports, the employees did not show any symptoms. The company also informed that the employees' direct co-workers were directed to work from home. They were notified to quarantine and were asked to watch for symptoms.
"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," Laurie Shelby, head of Tesla's environmental and safety department, said in the reported email.
The company also reassured that the likelihood of transmission is less as the staff present on the site was minimal.
Moreover, according to the email, the company had taken social distancing measures.
According to a report by Reuters, Tesla suspended its production in the San Francisco bay area vehicle factory. It also temporarily suspended its operations at its New York solar roof tile factory.
The report also suggests that non-essential workers were asked to work from home in the past week.
The news of the employees falling sick comes days after Elon Musk downplayed the risk from coronavirus. Musk, owner of Tesla, had kept the factories open for the longest time. He is seen to have downplayed the virus. On Twitter, he called the panic around coronavirus "dumb."
While replying to a couple of users Musk also tweeted, "Kids are essentially immune, but elderly with existing conditions are vulnerable. Family gatherings with close contact between kids & grandparents are probably most risky."
But gradually he seems to have realised that the world was dealing with a pandemic and offered help. Musk has said that Tesla will manufacture ventilators if there is a shortage. Musk has also donated 50,000 N95 surgical masks and various protective items to a hospital 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," Musk tweeted on Thursday.
As of now, the United States has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world. Musk tweeted Giga New York will reopen for ventilator production as soon as humanly possible. We will do anything in our power to help the citizens of New York.