Tech

Two Tesla employees test positive for COVID-19, internal email says

Key Points
  • Two Tesla employees have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to an internal email obtained by CNBC.
  • The e-mail did not include the workers' locations, and emphasized that the two employees with the infection had been working from home for the past two weeks.
  • 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.
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 tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to an e-mail sent to employees on Thursday and shared with CNBC.

Bloomberg and Buzzfeed reported on the Tesla cases earlier.

The infected employees had been working from home for "nearly two weeks," wrote Tesla's vice president of environmental health and safety, Laurie Shelby, in the e-mail. The message did not disclose the workers' locations or job functions.

Shelby also informed employees that both of their colleagues were home and recovering well. She added:

"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 sanitation and disinfection have been followed."   

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."

 

After initially claiming the "panic" over coronavirus was "dumb," and making a mis-statement that children are "essentially immune" to COVID-19, Tesla CEO Elon Musk more recently offered to make ventilators at Tesla in Buffalo, New York for hospitals that need them.

 

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. While Musk said he procured a supply of ventilators from China, the status of Tesla's efforts to manufacture them is not entirely clear.

Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak said on CNBC on Wednesday that some of his company's ventilators would be made by Tesla. Musk tweeted yesterday they were "Making good progress."

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

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

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