Coronavirus: Two Tesla employees test positive for COVID-19


Tesla vehicles stand outside of a Brooklyn showroom and service center on August 27, 2018 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Two Tesla employees have reportedly tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to a Thursday email sent by the company that was obtained by Bloomberg and Buzzfeed,

The employees had been working from home for “nearly two weeks,” Tesla’s vice president of environmental and safety department Laurie Shelby said in the email, according to the reports. They had not shown symptoms in the office, the email said. The message did not disclose the workers’ locations or job functions, according to the reports.

The disclosure comes after Tesla tried to keep its California operations going despite a shelter-in-place order covering the county where its factory is located. The county sheriff later confirmed Tesla’s car factory would not be considered an “essential business” and would be required to only maintain “minimum basic operations” under the order.

Tesla announced last Thursday it would temporarily suspend production at the Fremont, Calif. plant by the end of the day on March 23. It also said it would temporarily suspend production at its Buffalo, New York factory besides for parts “necessary for service.”

CEO Elon Musk has said Tesla could make ventilators for hospitals in the event of a shortage. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted at Musk last Thursday that he would take him up on the offer, saying there was in fact a shortage. The status of Tesla’s efforts is not entirely clear, though Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak said on CNBC some of their ventilators would be made by the company. Musk tweeted yesterday they were “Making good progress.”

Tesla did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Read more on Bloomberg and Buzzfeed.

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WATCH: Tesla to suspend production at Fremont, CA, & Buffalo, NY, facilities due to coronavirus



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