COVID-19 update; Wednesday, April 8

The latest numbers released Wednesday 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 36,000 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 continues to be:

•Metro continues to run our bus and rail service for essential trips 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.

Under L.A. County’s “Safer at Home” order, travel is only allowed for essential activities, including work to essential jobs (and there are many jobs considered essential), visiting a doctor or vet, 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.

Limiting travel to those who need to make essential trips only will make it easier to ensure social distancing at a time when L.A. County is desperately trying to curtail community spread and keep the number of COVID-19 cases from overwhelming local hospitals and our health-care system.

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

In the news…

•The death toll at the New York MTA has increased to 41 workers. The NYT finally catches up with the story with an in-depth article that looks at some of the underlying reasons the agency (with more than 70,000 employees) has been hit so hard.

•Even though the numbers of COVID-19 cases may not be skyrocketing in California, officials warn that it will be quite some time until things get back to “normal,” reports the LAT.

•Adding to the uncertainty is that California continues to lag behind other states when it comes to testing, making it hard for officials to know who must be quarantined, reports the LAT. Excerpt:

As of Tuesday, California said it had results for 143,172 tests — or 362 per 100,000 people. That’s a sharp increase from two weeks ago when just 39 of every 100,000 residents had been tested.

Yet for all its deep sources of innovation, the state is behind the national average of 596 tests per 100,000, according to the COVID Tracking Project. In New York, which has far more people hospitalized with severe symptoms, testing has reached 1,748 of every 100,000.

•San Bernardino County officials have ordered everyone to wear a face covering or mask when outside of their homes. The graphic from Omnitrans, the transit agency serving S.B. County:

•The wind and solar industries are growing and producing a higher percentage of the nation’s electricity as oil, gas and coal companies are encountering huge financial issues during the pandemic, reports the NYT.

•Demolition is well underway on parts of the LACMA campus on Wilshire Boulevard, reports the LAT. Looking forward to the day when the Purple Line subway reaches the museum — and we can leave the house to actually visit in person.

•RIP, John Prine.

Categories: Transportation News