COVID-19 update; Friday, April 3

A huge thank you to Metro’s frontline staff that continue to keep our buses and trains rolling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

And from the California Department of Health’s daily news release:

Testing in California
As of April 2, approximately 94,800 tests had been conducted in California. At least 35,267 results have been received and another 59,500 are pending. These numbers include data California has received from commercial, private and academic labs, including Quest, LabCorp, Kaiser, University of California and Stanford, and the 22 state and county health labs currently testing.

The limited amount of testing completed and test results returned thus far are the reasons that local and state health officials are very concerned that there will be a significant increase in positive tests for COVID-19 in the coming days. As you likely heard on the news today, at least 1,000 people perished Friday across the U.S. of COVID-19 with 562 of those in the state of New York, according to the New York Times.

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

•Metro law enforcement partners and homeless outreach workers are also working on an education campaign at major transit hubs to reinforce the message that buses and trains are for essential trips only (including commuting to essential jobs) and to try to connect vulnerable and unhoused people to shelters. See this Source post and I’m well aware of the commentary on social media about this issue.

•Our messaging remains:

•Our weekend bus service is about 80 percent of our usual bus service with some select trips removed; we’re doing our best to ensure that no one waits too much longer. Please allow extra time for your commute and thanks for your patience!

On the rail side, trains are running every 20 minutes from opening until 10 a.m., then every 12 minutes (except the C (Green) Line which runs every 15 minutes) until 6 p.m. and then every 20 minutes until close. Note: service ends just after midnight on Metro Rail this weekend instead of the late night service we were running prior to the pandemic.

And from our friends at the New York MTA:

In the news…

•The CDC on Friday announced that it was recommending that everyone wear non-medical face masks or face coverings in public as a way to help prevent the spread of the virus, reports the NYT. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti was ahead of the curve on this one, announcing the same on Wednesday.

•A look at a couple federal programs that could have led to more face masks for front-line health-care workers but didn’t in this head-meet-table story in the Washington Post.

•The number of New York MTA workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 tripled in just two days this week to at least 156, reports the NY Daily News. Another 1,181 workers were in quarantine Thursday, impacting transit service. Related, in Detroit the city is mourning the loss of a bus operator to the virus, reports USA Today.

•The Angeles National Forest is closing some of its more popular trails in a nod to social distancing, reports the LAT. Don’t worry. Echo Mountain and Mt. Baldy aren’t going anywhere.

Stay safe everyone and try to have a good weekend — steve.



3 replies

  1. Does ESSETIAL travel only mean I have to give up to ride the buses and the trains around LA County until the coronavirus is over and the operation is back to normal? (Revised)

    • Hi Joan;

      Essential travel is defined by the county and state and includes many jobs, including those who work in the food industry. It also includes going grocery shopping and shopping for other essential items. Under L.A. County’s safer at homes, essential trips include visiting a doctor or veterinarian obtaining medical supplies or medication, grocery shopping for yourself or others, providing care for minors, seniors, dependents and persons with disabilities or other vulnerabilities, legally mandated government purposes and to comply with law enforcement or court orders.

      So please ride if you need to. Hope that clears up any confusion,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. What does ESSENTIAL travel only mean? Does this mean I have to wait for the visitor at home? Does it mean I am neither allowed to ride to work as a fast food restaurant employee nor to go shopping until the coronavirus is over and operation is back to normal?