Workers at Tesla’s Fremont, California, plant have tested positive for COVID-19 just days after CEO Elon Musk forced its early reopening last month, The Washington Post reports. According to workers at the seat assembly facility, there have been at least two confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. Tesla and Alameda County made a deal in May that the facility could reopen on May 18 if the company followed strict social distancing and case reporting guidelines. However, Musk defied the agreement and opened the facility a week early, so county health officials say there may be cases that were never reported.
Musk has been outspoken about his disagreement with California’s stay-at-home measures to contain the pandemic, tweeting “FREE AMERICA NOW” in April before calling the rule “fascist” in the company’s first-quarter earnings call. Workers at the Fremont plant have expressed concern over the disease’s spread, saying that few staff at the plant were observing social distancing. “It’s like nothing but with a mask on,” one worker told the Post.