Alameda County may allow Tesla's Fremont factory to reopen as soon as next week

Catherine Shu
Flags fly outside the Tesla Inc. manufacturing facility in Fremont, California, U.S., on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company needed another general assembly line to reach its production targets for the Model 3 vehicle. "A new building was impossible, so we built a giant tent in 2 weeks," Musk said on Twitter. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Alameda County officials announced today that Tesla can reopen as soon as next week if it implements additional safety recommendations.

The statement from the Alameda County Public Health Department said that after receiving Tesla’s COVID-19 site-specific safety plan for its Fremont plant, officials "held productive discussions today with Tesla’s representatives about their safety and prevention plans, including some additional safety recommendations."

"If Tesla’s Prevention and Control Plan includes these updates, and public health indicators remain stable or improve, we have agreed that Tesla can begin to augment their Minimum Business Operations this week in preparation for possible reopening as soon as next week," it added.

Alameda County officials said they will work with the Fremont Police Department to verify that Tesla is implementing safety measures, including physical distancing.

The agreement comes after conflict between Alameda County and Tesla about the plant's reopening date. On Monday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the Fremont factory had restarted production, even though Alameda County had not yet lifted its stay-at-home order for manufacturing. This was after Tesla announced over the weekend that it had filed a lawsuit against Alameda County seeking injunctive and declaratory relief against the order.

Elon Musk restarts Tesla factory in defiance of county orders

Along with five other Bay Area counties, Alameda County began easing some restrictions on May 4, allowing some business activities, primarily ones that take place outdoors like construction and landscaping, to resume. Depending on key COVID-19 indicators, more businesses may be allowed to start operating again on May 18.