One of the biggest stories of 2020 for Tesla was the company's constant ongoing battle with Alameda County, California, about its ability to re-open during the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk famously went to war with what seemed like the entire state of California when he sought to re-open Tesla's Fremont production facility, despite local regulations requiring otherwise. Musk threw a temper tantrum and threatened to move Tesla to California before the incident started to blow over.
Now, Tesla's Nevada Gigafactory is being called into question, with the Reno Gazette Journal reporting that the job site has the highest number of Washoe County coronavirus cases since June. The Gigafactory beat out many of the largest casinos in Reno and Sparks - and Saint Mary's Regional Hospital and the VA Hospital.
The Gigafactory reported 117 cases, more than 5 times the local hospital and 6 times what the local VA hospital reported. The number of Washoe County coronavirus cases since June, listed by workplace, were as follows:
- Gigafactory: 117
- Renown: 104
- Walmart: 41
- UNR: 32
- UPS: 27
- Atlantis: 26
- Peppermill: 26
- Grand Sierra Resort: 25
- Washoe County School District: 25
- Silver Legacy: 24
- Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center: 22
- Walkenhorst: 18
- World Pack: 18
- VA Hospital: 17
County spokesman Scott Oxarart said: "This data shows that COVID-19 is still prevalent in our community. People are frequenting places while infectious and are making it possible for future transmission. It’s important to remember that if you’re showing symptoms like fever, shortness of breath, coughing, or even symptoms such as sore throat, headaches, upset stomach, you should stay home and only go out to get a COVID-19 test or receive medical treatment."
Back in July we noted that over 15% of Tesla employees had been affected by Covid after the company's early re-opening.
Weeks prior to that we had reported that Tesla's head of safety was claiming that Covid-19 transmission weren't taking place inside of the company's Fremont factory and claimed that Tesla has “had zero COVID-19 workplace transmissions,” since restarting operations at Fremont in May. In other words, Tesla was blaming the transmission on what employees were doing outside of the workplace.
Now, in Nevada at least, that doesn't look like the case.
In June, Governor Steve Sisolak had requested that individual counties begin compiling data on Covid-19 cases spreading within workplaces. He has said he wants to be more targeted in his approach to slowing the spread.
So, Steve, when do you shut down the Gigafactory?