California on Friday began to ease shelter-in-place restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, but the Bay Area has maintained many of its restrictions. In a statement, Alameda County Public Health Department spokesperson Neetu Balram said the department was aware Tesla had restarted production, but that it hoped the company would comply with public health orders “without further enforcement measures.” Balram said Tesla was due to submit a site-specific plan to reopen on Monday.Fremont’s police department is in charge of enforcing shelter-in-place orders. Spokesperson Geneva Bosques said the department is aware of reports that Tesla had reopened the factory, but added, “We are not at the factory.” Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
Musk has been skeptical of the risks of Covid-19 and critical of California officials’ response. In March he tweeted that “coronavirus panic is dumb” and predicted that US cases would “negligible” by the end of April. (They were not.) On an earnings call with investors last month, he called state and local shelter-in-place orders “fascist.”Some local officials, including Fremont mayor Lily Mei, appeared sympathetic to Musk. “The city encourages the county to engage with our local businesses to come up with acceptable guidelines for re-opening our local economy,” Mei wrote in a statement over the weekend.