COVID-19 upate; Thursday, April 2

The latest numbers from the L.A. County Department of Public Health posted Thursday afternoon are below:

•Metro has published a list of confirmed cases of COVID-19 among employees, contractors and vendors. The list will be updated daily.

•Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is now recommending that everyone should wear of cloth masks/face coverings when in public as a way to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The White House and CDC are expected to follow suit. Here’s an easy DIY covering:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-cnEQQgD-V/

 

And here’s a compelling NYT op-ed by several prominent health-care professionals.

•Our messaging continues to be:

We’re running about 80 percent of our normal weekday bus service although some trips will be canceled. We’re trying to be strategic to avoid extending anyone’s wait. We do recommend allowing extra time for your commute.

 

•Here is Metro’s statement on the city of Beverly Hills’ decision to close a segment of Wilshire Boulevard in both directions to speed up construction of the Purple Line Extension’s Wilshire/Rodeo Station that will serve downtown Beverly Hills.

 

•As some of you may have seen in the news, elected officials in the city of Carson have asked that Metro stop running bus lines in the city to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Here is Metro’s response:

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) intends to continue providing service to LA County. Because Metro is a critical entity for Southern California’s health, business and civic infrastructure – we are committed to continuing our operations to ensure that public transportation remains available for first-responders, healthcare workers and other key members of the workforce who need to move across Los Angeles County. Metro is still carrying approximately 300,000 people per day – that’s how many essential workers rely on the service.

Our agency has strengthened cleaning of our buses, trains, and at Union Station and our other major transit hubs. This includes an elevated focus on cleaning high touch point areas such as handrails, elevator call buttons, and ticket vending machines. On a daily basis we continue to review our agency’s cleaning protocols to ensure that they are up-to-date as the current situation evolves. We are doing everything possible to maintain a healthy and safe system for our customers who rely heavily on Metro buses and trains as their lifeline to get where they need to go through LA County.

Metro will continue to provide service as long as we possibly can.

•Metro continues to work on its plans to restructure its vast bus system:

•We know many of you reading this are renters. Help if you need it…

 

In the news…

Smart story in the LAT on the higher numbers of COVID cases being seen in wealthier communities in L.A. County. Excerpt:

But those disparities do not mean the virus is spreading more widely through rich neighborhoods than in poorer ones, public health officials and experts say. Rather, they are likely skewed by uneven access to testing, and in some instances by wealthy residents who traveled internationally and had some of the earliest confirmed infections.

The trend, some experts say, bodes poorly for local efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, as it suggests a troubling disparity of testing along the lines of race, income and immigration status. They say a lack of adequate testing in lower-income areas threatens to give residents there the false and potentially deadly impression that they have less to fear from the pathogen, and hence little reason to heed social distancing orders.

•As expected, unemployment claims have soared across the United States — with about 10 million new filings for unemployment in the past two weeks. From the U.S. Labor Department’s news release today:

The state of California’s Unemployment Insurance page is here and includes info on how to file.

•Using anonymous smartphone data, the New York Times looks at how much Americans are driving across the U.S. in a series of interactive maps and graphics. L.A. County, for example, is driving 81 percent less, according to the extrapolated data. While driving is down across much of the U.S. there are still areas — particular in parts of the Southeastern U.S. — where Americans are still on the move, and the NYT hypothesizes that could lead to more coronavirus outbreaks.

•There are nine cases of COVID-19 in L.A.’s homeless community, reports the LAT.