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Bay Area Headlines: Friday, 3/27/20, AM


Coronavirus caseload / Transit affectedCoronavirus caseload

The Bay Area has 1,418 positive COVID-19 cases as of last night, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s tracking tool. Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties have seen significant increases. Santa Clara saw the biggest jump — there are now 542 cases in the county. There are a few explanations. More testing is happening, so more likely positives. But also the rise in cases follows the pattern of virus spread that we’ve seen around the world. The number of Bay Area deaths from the novel coronavirus now stands at 32.

Transit affected

Bay Area public transit has been heavily impacted by the shelter-in-place ordinance. All Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light-rail service has been shut down indefinitely. That’s after a train operator trainee tested posted for COVID-19, according to VTA officials.

The shutdown began at 11:30 Wednesday night. The six trains running at the time were taken out of service and sweeps were done to make sure passengers weren't stranded. The agency is now working to determine the extent of exposure. According to a spokesperson, VTA operators are being told to shelter in place and receive further instructions on whether to quarantine and/or get tested.

In San Francisco, the Municipal Transportation Agency announced that it will temporarily suspend all subway service next week and replace it with bus shuttles. The changes are scheduled to take effect Monday. The West Portal, Forest Hill, Castro, Church and Van Ness stations will close, as will the Muni portion of downtown stations shared with BART. Buses along affected lines will arrive in 10 to 15 minute intervals. MUNI is making adjustments to several bus routes. Find information about your routes at SFMTA.com.

Caltrain also announced, yesterday, that it will reduce its weekday train service by more than half starting next week. Like the Bay Area's other public transit entities, Caltrain ridership has plummeted as the coronavirus outbreak has gotten worse. Sales of one-way and day pass train fares have fallen 86 percent from their levels prior to the outbreak, while daily ticket sales fell 95 percent on the first day of the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order.