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Tesla Is Not Cleared to Reopen California Factory, Say Local Officials

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently complained that the Bay Area's stay-at-home orders are a  risk to Tesla's financial results, and "fascist."
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Elon Musk is champing at the bit to reopen Tesla's factories, but local officials said on Friday that it does not yet have the green light. 

Tesla's Fremont, Calif.-based factory has been operating at minimal capacity since mid-March, when six Bay Area counties announced a stay-home order in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Although the region is beginning to relax some restrictions on business activity, a public health official in Alameda County, where Tesla's factory is located, said that it hasn't been given the go-ahead to resume full operations. 

At a virtual town hall event on Friday, Erica Pan, interim health officer for Alameda County's public health department, said "we have been working with [Tesla] looking at some of their safety plans. But no, we have not said that it is appropriate to move forward.”

Bay Area officials extended the stay-home order through the end of May, but are allowing some lower-risk businesses to reopen with certain restrictions, such as requiring curbside pickup only.

In a statement to CNBC, Alameda County public health department further explained that Tesla "has been informed" that they don't meet the criteria for reopening and must not do so. 

Musk has not been shy with his feelings on the stay-home orders, calling them "fascist" on a recent shareholder call and a "serious risk" to Tesla's financial results. 

For the March quarter, Tesla posted a surprise profit of $1.24 per share, versus an expected non-GAAP loss of 28 cents. It originally guided for 500,000 vehicle deliveries for the full year 2020, and has not yet revised that guidance despite skepticism among analysts that it can meet this guidance given COVID-related disruptions. 

Tesla shares are up 90% year to date.