COVID-19 update, Tuesday, April 7

The latest numbers released Tuesday afternoon from the L.A. County Department of Public Health are below. Health officials are urging anyone who can stay at home to do so this week — and not make any trips except those most urgent. About 35,000 tests for people in L.A. County for the coronavirus (out of 10.1 million) have been completed and officials want to slow the spread of the virus as much as possible.

Our messaging remains:

•Metro continues to run our bus and rail service although slightly adjusted from normal levels.

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.

A, B, D, E, L LINES (BLUE, RED, PURPLE, EXPO, GOLD): Weekday rail service every 12 minutes between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. with 20-minute service before and after those times. Last trains depart terminal stations at midnight.

•As far as ridership goes, the latest numbers (through late last week) show our weekday boardings are down about 70 percent from normal times.

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

•The $2 trillion stimulus bill signed into law last month should help large transit agencies. From LAT transpo reporter Laura Nelson:

•Work on the Purple Line Extension and other projects continues. On the Purple Line, a tunneling machine reached Wilshire/Fairfax station on Friday. Source post here.

In the news…

•The New York MTA announced Monday that 33 of its employees have died due to COVID-19. Here’s the NY MTA transcript interview. The NY MTA is massive with more than 77,000 employees and runs the busy NYC Subway as well as the NYC bus system and commuter rail lines.

•SF Muni announced Monday that it will continue service on 17 of its 89 bus lines in San Francisco due to staff shortages and safety concerns. The idea is to bulk up service on the 17 essential lines. SF Muni blog post

ProPublica and many other media outlets are reporting about the high rate at which the coronavirus is hitting the African American community.

Smart story in LAT about South L.A. businesses getting hit hard by the pandemic. Excerpt:

Before the coronavirus made its deadly march through communities across the country, upending lives and stalling the economy, something remarkable was happening south of the 10 Freeway.

A region that had long felt ignored by the development boom reshaping neighborhoods across Los Angeles was experiencing a renaissance in community-owned cafes, coffee shops and co-working spaces — especially among a new generation of black entrepreneurs.

•The Eastern Sierra town of Mammoth Lakes — 300 miles north of L.A. — is in the process of setting up a checkpoint on Highway 203, the one currently open paved road into and out of town, reports the NYT. They want visitors to stay away, citing the lack of hospital space should a visitor get sick.

•The Washington Post lays out the difficulties of resuming pro sports. Tough one for L.A. given the number of teams in our region and the jobs they support. Work continues on SoFi Stadium — the new home of the Rams and Chargers — the LAT reported last week there could be delays.

•A new Harvard study found that death from coronavirus is more likely in parts of the U.S. with higher levels of particulate matter pollution, reports the NYT. What is particulate matter? Take it away, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

These particles come in many sizes and shapes and can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals.

Some are emitted directly from a source, such as construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks or fires.

Most particles form in the atmosphere as a result of complex reactions of chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which are pollutants emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles.

•Not the smartest tweet ever:

•Smarter and with data:

Must read op-ed in NYT about the problems caused by lack of testing for coronavirus.

•RIP, Bill Withers.

10 replies

  1. Does this mean I have to give up to ride the buses and trains around Los Angeles County whether to work or just for fun and wait until the symptoms of coronavirus is disappeared and all the public transits operation back to normal? Because my employment is essential. I am an employee of a fast food restaurant, and sometimes I ride the bus or train to buy the food from the fast food restaurant other than the one that I am working at.

    • Hi Joan;

      That is considered an essential trip because you are going to get food and that is allowed under the county’s safer at home order.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. So how are the nonstop rides day and night of the Homeless considered essential and why has nothing been done to address this? This is the ignored hazard and nothing seems to be done about it.

    • Hi,

      Metro will be joining the city of Los Angeles Department of Transportation in providing bus transportation to those who may need alternative aid, such as social service assessment, shelter or mental health services. The goal is to protect vulnerable and unhoused individuals and riders who are using Metro for essential travel only during the state’s and county’s safer-at-home orders. If you encounter individuals in need, please call 888.950.7233 or alert Metro staff so we can help connect them with services in the region.

      Thank you,

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

    • Hi Methanol1;

      I can’t speak for every last person on board but we are trying to encourage unhoused and vulnerable people to go to shelters and not just ride with no particular destination. Since Saturday, Metro and homeless outreach workers have helped connect 119 people on our system with shelters.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • Hi Dayle;

      I am putting that article in today’s update. Thus far, Metro has 19 cases, seven of which are contractors/vendors. Obviously a lot of questions are being asked and will be asked in New York and I don’t want to speculate — and it goes without saying that our hearts go out to the NY MTA. They have a huge system — the NYC Subway, New York City buses and commuter rail — that is vastly larger than any other transit system in America. We have been doing our best to implement best practices and will continue to provide PPE gear to staff and may further adjust service levels. We’re also recommending to those who must ride to now wear coverings. We hope these steps allow essential bus and rail service to continue and help prevent spread of the virus.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. Do I have to get a permission from my family tree members to ride the public transit? Because tonight my aunt was trying to tell me not to ride the public transit who is lives in the state of Oregon. She said that the bus operators have gotten infections by the symptoms of coronavirus. And this prohibition might be permanently, even if the symptoms of coronavirus is disappeared.

    • (I’m got a first question) is campaign are launched about covid-19 for people are affecting using a transportation service can we tell me?