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Tesla reopening drama cools as county and carmaker appear to reach agreement

Tesla's plant in Fremont, California, reopened without an official OK from Alameda County in California, but it appears the two sides reached an agreement.

Tesla Fremont factory
Over for now?
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As many states in the US give the green light to businesses to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, Tesla likely experienced the roughest, most drama-filled restart of them all. But it appears a dispute between the company and Alameda County, where the plant in Fremont, California, is based, is coming to a close -- at least for now.

The Alameda County Public Health Department gave an official update via Twitter on Wednesday and said Tesla can operate beyond basic minimum operations this week, if it implements "additional safety recommendations" from the local government. The department also acknowledged Tesla's return-to-work game plan, but said these safety "updates" will allow it to fully reopen as soon as next week. Local police will also "verify" that the automaker adheres to physical and social distancing protocols.

Whether Tesla will be reprimanded for restarting production before the county gave the company a thumbs up remains to be seen. The dispute, which began to spiral this past Friday, started after California Governor Gavin Newsom allowed manufacturing to restart the same day. While Tesla CEO Elon Musk cheered the decision, Alameda County didn't lift its own stay-at-home order, which barred Tesla from restarting.

Musk sued the county and said via Twitter he'd move the company's headquarters out of the state in response. In addition, he threatened to move Tesla production out of the plant in Fremont. On Monday, he publicly confirmed Tesla production restarted in defiance of the local order and said he'd prepare for an arrest over the decision.

The county also cautioned its decisions will also come based on "public health indicators" and it'll watch to ensure they remain "stable or improve."

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