Tesla ordered to keep its main plant in the US shut down

Tesla has been ordered to shut its main plant down in the US, since California grapples with a coronavirus pandemic.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had told employees “limited” production would resume on Friday at the factory in Fremont, near San Francisco, as stated in CNBC.

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But Alameda County says this could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases.

Nearly 9,500 cases are reported within the city’s Bay Area, together with 342 virus-related deaths.

Since 23 March, nigh “basic operations” are suspended at the factory due to “shelter in place” orders enacted within the county. The factory employs over 10,000 workers, and makes about 415,000 vehicles each year.

“Tesla has been informed that they do not meet those criteria and must not reopen,” Alameda County said in a statement. “We welcome Tesla’s proactive work on a reopening plan, so that once they fit the criteria to reopen, they can do so in a way that protects their employees and the community at large.”

Elon Musk has drawn controversy for his opposition to restrictions due to coronavirus, and his promotion of treatments for the virus, which is unproven.

In a series of tweets, the tech billionaire has said “the coronavirus panic is dumb” and “FREE AMERICA NOW”.

It comes as Tesla has halted operations at its plant within the Chinese city of Shanghai, as stated in Bloomberg. It had previously closed the factory as a brief measure when the virus was at top in China.

The company reported a gain within the Q1 of this year, and its stock has risen to almost $820 (£669; €756). But analysts expect the coronavirus pandemic will adversely affect its earnings in 2020.

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