Two Tesla employees test positive for coronavirus: company email

By Tina Bellon
Tesla Inc. Gigafactory 2, which is also known as RiverBend, is pictured during the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Buffalo, New York

By Tina Bellon

(Reuters) - Two employees of Tesla Inc have tested positive for coronavirus but have been working from home for the past two weeks and had not been symptomatic at work, Tesla said in an email to employees on Thursday.

Tesla's email, seen by Reuters, did not disclose in which unit or at what location the employees work but said the employees were quarantined and recovering well.

Tesla said the employees' direct coworkers, who had also been working from home for nearly two weeks, had been immediately notified to quarantine at home and watch for symptoms.

The company said interactions with the infected individuals had "a low likelihood of transmission based on the minimal staff onsite and social distancing measures" the company took earlier in March.

"I feel this is important to share with everyone at Tesla not to cause stress or panic but so you hear this information directly from Tesla," Laurie Shelby, head of Tesla's environmental and safety department, said in the email.

Reuters could not immediately reach the company for comment.

Business Insider reported the information first.

Tesla on Tuesday began to temporarily suspend production at its San Francisco Bay Area vehicle factory to curb the spread of coronavirus after a standoff with California authorities. It also temporarily suspended production at its New York solar roof tile factory.

Non-essential staff, including office workers, had already been asked to work from home about a week prior, according to previous Tesla emails seen by Reuters.

Infections with coronavirus have also been reported at the U.S. plants of other automakers.

United Auto Workers said in a letter to union members on Tuesday that two Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV union members - one in Indiana and one in Michigan - have died after contracting the coronavirus.


(Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)