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Covid-19 outbreak reported at SpaceX's California headquarters, with 132 confirmed cases

Business Insider US
SpaceX founder Elon Musk at the company's HQ in Hawthorne, California on October 10, 2019.
PHILIP PACHECO/AFP via Getty Images
  • SpaceX's California HQ has an active Covid-19 outbreak, The Los Angeles Times reported.
  • SpaceX has a confirmed 132 cases, publicly available data shows.
  • It's currently the largest outbreak on Los Angeles County's public list of workplaces and other non-residential settings with three or more confirmed cases.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

SpaceX's corporate headquarters is experiencing an outbreak of Covid-19, The Los Angeles Times was first to report on Monday.

The LA Times cited public data on Covid-19 outbreaks published by Los Angeles County. The data showed SpaceX has an "active outbreak" with 132 staff confirmed to have Covid-19. It's the largest outbreak on Los Angeles County's public list of outbreaks at non-residential settings, which includes workplaces and food and retail stores.

Citing court documents, the LA Times reported SpaceX employs an estimated 5,972 staff at its headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

SpaceX did not immediately to request for comment sent by Insider outside of working hours. SpaceX also did not immediately respond to the LA Times when contacted for comment on Monday.

The news comes as the highly transmissible Omicron variant rips its way around the world. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday the variant made up 73% of the cases in the country in the week ending December 18 — up from just 0.7% of cases in the country in the week ending December 4. There were around 978,000 new cases of Covid-19 in the US last week, according to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus resource center.

This isn't the first time a large number of SpaceX employees have tested positive for Covid-19. In February a peer-reviewed paper published in Nature Communications showed 4,300 SpaceX staff took part in a Covid-19 antibody study. The study spanned May to June 2020, and 120 participants tested positive for Covid-19.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in November 2020 he'd tested positive for Covid-19. In April 2020, Musk railed against coronavirus measures including shelter-in-place orders which he called "fascist." He insisted on opening Tesla's Fremont, California plant in defiance of a local shelter-in-place order.

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