Tesla has decided to roll out a mask mandate for its employees at Gigafactory Nevada, its massive battery factory that it operates with Panasonic. The company cited the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant and the updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as reasons behind its new mandate.
Under the new policy, Giga Nevada workers would be required to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. Prior to the new mandate, Giga Nevada employees who were already vaccinated against Covid-19 were allowed to not wear masks. Those who were unvaccinated were still required to wear masks indoors.
The new policy was initially reported by The Wall Street Journal, which cited information provided by people familiar with the matter. Tesla, for its part, has not issued a comment about Giga Nevada’s new Covid guidelines. The Nevada government has stated that it may roll out a mask mandate in the county where Tesla’s battery factory is situated, however, if the virus’ transmission rates do not improve.
Tesla is not alone in rolling out a new mask mandate for its employees. Last week, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis announced that they would be reinstating a mask mandate for their US offices and plants. Similar to Tesla, the veteran automakers’ policy requires even those who were already fully vaccinated to wear masks indoors. GM, Ford, and Stellantis’ decision to reinstate its mask mandate was also due to the spread of the contagious Delta variant.
Alameda County, which hosts Tesla’s Fremont Factory, has mandated that everyone 2 years of age and older must wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status as well.
The Delta variant has pushed the United States back into an average of 100,000 new Covid-19 infections per day, a number that was last seen during the winter surge. It previously took the US nine months before hitting an average of 100,000 cases per day in November before peaking at about 250,000 in early January. Covid cases in the US tempered down in June with just about 11,000 per day, but amidst the Delta variant’s rise, it only took six weeks before average cases rose to over 100,000 per day.
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