According to the Alameda County Sheriff, Tesla is not an indispensable business, and the statement may force the automaker to close some of the county's business under a tailored shelter order that is due to COVID -19 (Illness caused by coronavirus.
Fremont County, where the Tesla factory is located, issued an asylum order on Monday demanding the closure of all unnecessary businesses, including bars, gyms and dining restaurants. Takeaway and delivery restaurants are still allowed.
Tesla is not an essential business as defined in the Alameda County Health Order. Tesla can maintain minimal basic operations under Alameda County Health Order.
Tesla retained the Fremont plant despite the order, claiming that part of the company's business was exempt from the county's order. Tesla CEO Elon Musk told employees in an email that the company will continue to operate at the Fremont plant, where the automaker will assemble Model S, Model X, Model 3 and now Model Y electric cars. According to an email first reported by the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg, Musk did tell employees that if they "feel a little sick or even uncomfortable," they would not feel obliged to go to work.
A few days later, Musk sent an email to employees of his other company, SpaceX, which appeared to be an understatement of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alameda County officials are determining if Tesla can actually claim an exemption. In a tweet on Tuesday afternoon, the county sheriff said Tesla was not an essential business as defined by the Alameda County Health Decree. The sheriff tweeted that "Tesla can maintain a minimum of basic operations under the Alameda County Health Act," but did not elaborate on the meaning of "minimum basic operations" or whether vehicles can still be produced there.
News References: https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/17/county-deems-tesla-a-non-essential-business-during-shelter-in-place-order/