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Hundreds of Tesla workers tested positive at reopened plant

Hundreds of Tesla workers tested positive at reopened plant
© UPI Photo

Hundreds of workers at a reopened Tesla plant in California tested positive for COVID-19 between May and December, according to data released by a transparency website on Friday.

The website PlainSite released data from the Alameda County Department of Public Health that found 440 workers at the Fremont factory received positive tests in those eight months, with 125 cases being recorded in December. The plant, which documented less than 11 cases in May, employs about 10,000 workers.

The New York Times reported on PlainSite’s data on Saturday. 

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The data comes as Tesla, run by CEO Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskElon Musk: Bitcoin energy use 'insane' Elon Musk says Teslas can no longer be purchased with Bitcoin 'SNL' star Michael Che 'stunned' by cultural appropriation backlash over sketch MORE, has released limited facts about coronavirus cases among its staff and as Musk himself has minimized the virus’s impact. 

Musk reopened the Fremont plant in May before local public officials approved such resumptions and last year. He described the two-month shutdown for automakers across the U.S. as not necessary, predicting the U.S.’s new cases would be “close to zero” by the end of April.

A year later, the U.S. now stands at more than 29.4 million confirmed cases and more than 534,000 fatalities, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.  

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The Tesla CEO, who also heads SpaceX, had previously labeled coronavirus restrictions as “fascist,” suggesting he would move his company out of California.

Tesla did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment. 

Other automakers in the U.S. have announced COVID-19 cases among employees and suspended production to prevent spread and to deeply clean the factories.