Tesla, which previously reopened its Fremont electric car factory in defiance of a coronovirus health order, has tested more than 130 employees positive for the deadly virus, according to a blog claiming to have received information from the company.
“Electronic data leaks suggest Tesla is seeing a spike in exposure to COVID-19, ‘mainly at its Fremont factory in California,” the blog Electrec reported. “So far, more than 130 Tesla workers have tested positive with results pending the test, and more than a dozen contractors and temporary employees involved with Tesla’s operations have also tested positive.”
Tesla did not immediately respond to questions about the report. Alameda County health officials also did not answer questions.
Electrec did not state that Tesla allegedly employed virus-positive employees.
Alon Musk, the CEO of the Palo Alto-headquartered company, had battled with Alameda County health officials on orders from work to home that closed the Fremont plant for weeks. The plant was reopened for a week in defiance of the order, with the carmaker suing the county in May and then allowing Tesla to resume vehicle production in Fremont after the two parties reached an agreement Left the case after.
Tesla’s labor safety chief sent an email to employees in June stating that the company knew some employees who had contracted coronaviruses from outside the workplace, but contacts between workers at Tesla’s factory showed no transmission Was.
Also in June, representatives of labor groups rallied outside the Fremont plant, demanding more information about the reported coronavirus cases. Tesla cited “very few cases” at the company in a July 2 blog post, saying “people who have been affected have either returned to work or are recovering from home.”
The state’s workplace-safety regulator, Cal / OSHA, said in June that it was investigating Tesla’s main plant and another company’s facility in Fremont.
“The investigation is active and ongoing,” Cal / OSHA said at the time, adding that the department “takes seriously its mandate to investigate workplace accidents, mortality and complaints at workplaces throughout California.”
The agency declined to say Wednesday whether the investigation involved coronavirus.