In advance of dawn on Tuesday, personnel coming off a change at Tesla’s factory in the Silicon Valley city of Fremont boarded buses to return to the offsite heaps wherever they’d parked their vehicles. Nearby, much more personnel headed into the factory to just take their areas. But the scene, recounted by The Los Angeles Times, is unlikely to repeat itself in coming weeks—halting production of Tesla’s electrical sedans and SUVs, like the newly out there Product Y.

Bay Region health and fitness officials have mandated just about every person in the area remain in their properties as component of the escalating struggle to consist of the spreading novel coronavirus. Tesla CEO Elon Musk kept his factory operating as a result of the initial working day of the remain-at-residence get, evidently concluding that Tesla certified as an “essential business” that did not have to near. But late Tuesday, the county sheriff announced that creating electrical vehicles is not an “essential company.” It is authorized to have on with “minimum basic functions,” like possessing anyone in the office to procedure payroll. “That efficiently usually means they can not work company as regular,” and can not keep creating vehicles, claims Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

It’s a terrible time for Tesla to have to near its only vehicle plant in North The united states. Right until previously this month, it had been on a roll: Its stock hit an all-time higher of much more than $900 in February, following strong success in the 2nd 50 % of 2019. It overcame its extended custom of missing deadlines by beginning deliveries of the Product Y forward of agenda. It just built its one millionth vehicle, and a short while ago topped Buyer Experiences’ operator fulfillment scores by a broad margin.

But the spreading pandemic has chopped Tesla’s share price in 50 %, to $430 on Tuesday, as Chinese electrical vehicle purchases cratered and fear spread of a recession that will suppress hunger for Tesla’s luxury cars. Still, even in China, Tesla sold approximately 4,000 cars in February, several much more than its electrical opponents, in accordance to China Automotive News. And if it can conquer a downtrend in vehicle profits in the rest of the entire world, it would presumably like to keep creating the vehicles folks are shopping for.

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So the command to halt production in Fremont is a rough 1. The “shelter in place” orders came from 6 Bay Region counties, like Alameda, residence to Fremont. They command the closure of workplaces for the upcoming a few weeks, with exemptions for “essential” businesses, like initial responders, law enforcement, court docket staff, grocery retailers, banking institutions, and dining establishments (which can only give delivery or takeout).

For the most component, it is up to businesses to decide if they are crucial. Tesla’s factory, which employs much more than ten,000 folks, does not healthy any of individuals categories. At a extend, it may well depend between “gas stations and automobile-provide, automobile-mend, and associated services,” but only if you are much more intrigued in the letter of the law than its spirit. And on this 1, it is the spirit that genuinely counts. “Businesses are asked to comply,” claims Shawn Wilson, chief of staff members to Scott Haggerty, the Alameda County supervisor whose district includes Fremont. They decide no matter whether or not they are “essential.” And the order’s definition of crucial activities—those “necessary for the health and fitness and security for men and women and their families”—is so mushy, it does not get the job done if folks search for loopholes. They have to just take it seriously.

The Tesla Product Y, the newest addition to its lineup.

Courtesy of Tesla