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Tesla Receives ‘Essential Workforce’ Exemption as California Enforces New Covid-19 Health Orders

  • “Limited Stay at Home Order” — the California Department of Public Health enforces new stay home orders to which Tesla’s employees are now deemed as ‘essential workers’.
  • Tesla and CEO Elon Musk had been previously advised to trim their operations to bare minimum as a result of the prior county health orders. At which they chose to go against to keep operations running smoothly.
  • Musk and California have not always seen eye to eye since the start of the pandemic — as he stated that “California was like a sports team that has been winning for too long.”

Earlier this week, California Governor Gavin Newsom enforced the new Covid-19 “Limited Stay at Home Orders”. In doing so, the state deemed Tesla employees ‘essential workers’. This designation allows Tesla’s Fremont, California plant to continue its operations in accordance with prior Covid-19 safety plans.

On Saturday, the new Limited Stay at Home Orders will impact the vast majority of Californians — as the new orders come with a curfew. Asking all nonessential work and gatherings to be halted between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

When questioned about the impact of the curfew on Tesla’s employees, the CPHD wrote:

“The Limited Stay at Home Order does not apply to these employees as they are deemed essential workers – manufacturing is listed as an essential workforce. You can find more here. The Critical Manufacturing Sector identifies several industries to serve as the core of the sector including Transportation Equipment Manufacturing Products. While operating, this sector must follow industry guidance for manufacturing.”

County officials in Alameda County, where Fremont is located, could double up on the safety guidelines that the state has put in place — though they have not done so yet. An Alameda County Public Health Department spokesperson has declined to answer any questions about Tesla, and has since released a press statement.

In the statement the spokesperson shared that Alameda County has faced a rapid surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations — putting the county in California’s “purple tier”. The “purple tier” is the state’s most restrictive level in the “reopening framework”. As of midnight November 18, “all activities and sectors must conform to the state’s requirements for counties in the Purple Tier.” The Alameda County Public Health department also stated: “As the situation develops, we may need to further restrict activities to slow the spread of the virus.”

In July, the California Department of Public Health issued guidance for manufacturing industries “to support a safer lower risk environment for workers.” The guidance implemented for workers in factory environments has since, not been updated with any new requirements or safety precautions.

Alameda County’s health authority advised Tesla to trim their operations to bare minimum earlier in the year when the novel coronavirus emerged in California. Asking that they make the workplace an acceptable environment to protect their factory workers. Tesla and CEO Elon Musk chose to go against the grain and continued what appeared to be normal operations — without facing repercussions.

And since that time, Musk has ‘insulted’ California’s business environment.

On October 30, 2020, Musk tweeted:

Kc Cartwright
Written By

Kc Cartwright is a freelance writer and avid outdoorsman. She is a space enthusiast with a passion for exploring life on other planets, as well as space travel.

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