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Bay Area Headlines: Monday, 4/6/20, PM

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Coronavirus cases slowing / California’s helping hand / Santa Clara Field Respite Center / Muni cuts

Coronavirus cases slowing

As of this afternoon, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, there are 15,393 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide. That’s an increase of 42 percent over the last four days. Here, in the Bay Area, there are 3,721 confirmed cases. That’s a 34 percent increase from four days ago. The increase in cases is slowing, even as testing is increasing.

California’s helping hand

Governor Gavin Newsom took his daily press conference show on the road, today. He shared updates on the state’s response to the crisis from the Sacramento Kings former arena, which is being converted into a 360 bed surge hospital.

The Governor said the state is hoping to use such spaces to create room for 50 thousand more hospital beds by the end of April. But for now, he noted, the state can cover its cases. In fact, California has lent 500 ventilators to the national stockpile. Newsom said the state has been refurbishing its supply, and getting new ones, so it can help others right now.

“And as a nation state, we can do certain things where we can punch above our weight, and we carry a big weight,” he said. “But to the extent that other Americans need our support, our largesse, where we have the resources, we’re going to be there for as many people as I possibly can. But know this. We’re also taking care of our 40 million Californians as well.”

Governor Newsom said the state had about 75 hundred vents before the crisis. But through refurbishments and procuring new ones, it now has 11 thousand. And it continues to seek more.

Santa Clara Field Respite Center

The Santa Clara Convention Center has been transformed into a temporary hospital to treat less severe COVID-19 cases. Its first two patients were admitted today.

The Santa Clara Convention Center has been transformed into a temporary hospital to treat less severe COVID-19 cases. Its first two patients were admitted today. KALW’s Christopher Egusa has more.

The county of Santa Clara declared a local state of emergency on March 11th. Now, with the help of the state and the national guard, the county has converted the convention center into a 250 bed treatment facility. It’s called a Field Respite Center, and it’s one of the first to open in California.

Experts warn that the next few weeks will bring a swell of COVID-19 patients in need of intensive care. The center is meant to reduce the strain on hospitals treating more critical patients.

No walk ups are allowed at this time.

In a statement, Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg said, “Today's patients will have the ability to recuperate in a safe setting while still sheltering in place [and’ keeping all of our residents and essential workers protected.”

Muni cuts

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, or Muni, began drastically reducing service, today. KALW’s Sona Avakian (SOH-nuh uh-VAH-key-enn) has updates.

Throughout this week, Muni will put further route reductions in place. This is due to a significant decrease in ridership and an expected 40% reduction in Muni’s workforce.

Muni reports that nearly 100,000 passengers still need their services.

Starting today, those customers should prepare for delays and not rely on the NextBus app for accurate predictions. Tomorrow, service will be discontinued on seven routes.

On Wednesday, service will be reduced to the 17-most used lines: Including the N Judah, the T, and the 8 Bayshore, providing service to medical facilities.

Muni’s Jeffrey Tumlin tweeted on Sunday, “I never thought I'd say this: Please don't take Muni if you have other options.”