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Tesla and other manufacturing companies have secured an exemption from a new curfew in California as the state tries to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Reuters reports. It likely comes as a relief for Tesla employees, and the company itself, which during the first lockdown in March fought tooth and nail to stay open before shutting down, and then reopening ahead of schedule — legal brawls and all.
The exemption will see Tesla’s car plant in Fremont continue to hum along as businesses deemed nonessential must close at 10 p.m. each night and remain closed until 5 a.m. the next day. COVID-19 infections continue to skyrocket as people socialize inside as cooler weather settles in across the country, and state and local governments are once again tasked to find a balance between securing public health and keeping their economies going.
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There’s one caveat in the the curfew rule that applies to most of California’s counties: Counties themselves can impose stricter measures. In Alameda County, where Tesla’s plant is located, officials could roll out tighter rules to shut down manufacturing. There’s no indication yet that the county will, but should it do so, it’s quite likely we’d see Tesla push back just as hard as last time.
After about six weeks of downtime, Tesla CEO Elon Musk reopened the Fremont facility in May before the county gave a green light to restart production and bring employees back to work. Musk said he was prepared to be arrested and threatened to move all of Tesla’s operations out of California to another state in the process. The automaker and the county eventually agreed to a compromise that gave the carmaker an official OK to restart all business activities.
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