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At least 12 employees at the SpaceX plant in Hawthorne, California, have been quarantined, according to a report.


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SpaceX has placed at least 12 workers in quarantine after one worker and a medic at the company’s Southern California facility tested positive for coronavirus, The Telegraph reported Tuesday.

Employees at the Hawthorne, California, plant were notified of the infections on Monday, The Telegraph reported, citing an email. One employee was diagnosed after traveling abroad, the newspaper reported.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has come under widespread criticism from government officials, industry watchdogs and many consumers for keeping his SpaceX and Tesla facilities open despite a statewide order requiring residents to stay home except for essential activities to stop the spread of coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.

After a protracted battle over whether it would close the Tesla plant in Fremont, California, Tesla relented last week and announced it would close the factory this week. Up until Monday’s closure, the electric car plant had been continuing production with a reduced staff and increased safety measures.

Musk initially called the panic over the coronavirus “dumb” on social media, but he has shown signs he’s starting to take COVID-19 more seriously. Earlier this week, he offered to join the raft of automakers investigating production of medical ventilators seen as key to fighting coronavirus.

SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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