We reported in late March that Panasonic was suspending battery production at the facility due to COVID-19 shut down precautions. Panasonic's announcement was expected, as it came shortly after Tesla's announcement that they would be closing both the Freemont and New York factories on March 24th.
This is obviously good news, however, we all hope the timing is right. It's critical that the country doesn't begin to reopen earlier than the data suggests we should. There will continue to be new COVID-19 infections, but what we don't want to happen is a huge new spike in cases because we reopen commerce a little too early. It's a very touchy and difficult decision to make, and we do hope that Tesla gets this right.
In an effort to reduce the possibility of this, and spreading the virus among employees at the Gigafactory, new measures will be in place including:
- Masks will be required at most workstations
- physical distancing will be observed whenever possible
- Employees may voluntarily use face coverings whenever they wish
- PPE vending machines will be available with gloves readily available in numerous locations
- Employees will be encouraged to take additional breaks in order to stagger work and limit time working close to other team members
- Surface sanitizer wipes will be available throughout the facility.
- There will be frequent multi-day disinfecting of all high-touch work station surfaces
- The janitorial team will disinfect door handles and push bars before and after every shift change
- All employees will be temperature-screened before entering the facility with a AOJ-20F Infrared Thermometer, which is a medical-grade, non-contact device. If any employee has a temperature above 100.4° F, they will be sent home.
- All transportation shuttles will be capped 30% of the maximum capacity, enabling all employees to sit at a distance greater than six feet apart from one another.
- Only online ordering for Cafe food services is available
- Partitions have been installed at IT helpdesks
- All small, non-essential conference rooms are closed.
If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case at the factory, Tesla will interview the person, investigate their whereabouts, and determine to the best of their ability what other employees had contact with them while they were at work. Tesla representatives will then speak with everyone who had direct and extended contact, and those individuals will be asked to self-quarantine for fourteen days.