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The World Health Organization has declared a coronavirus pandemic. L.A. County Department of Public Health today confirmed the county's first COVID-19 death - and a total of 27 current coronavirus cases. To prevent the virus from spreading, big events are being canceled.

Los Angeles may be weeks or months away from major large-scale virus impacts, but fear, apprehension, anticipation, expectation, hoarding, and even racism, discrimination, and paranoia are already present. Anecdotally, L.A. transit ridership and driving appears to be down somewhat.

Just how bad (or good) is riding transit in the age of coronavirus?

Per a post at The Source, Metro is being proactive. The agency "formed a Contagious Virus Response Task Force that is closely coordinating with the L.A. County Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure an appropriate response to the coronavirus." Additionally:

The agency has strengthened cleaning at major transit hubs and we are continuing to clean our buses and trains at least once daily. We’re also reviewing cleaning protocols to ensure they are up-to-date as the current situation evolves. In addition, Metro is producing signage and written materials on what customers can do to reduce the risk of being exposed to the virus.

Metro stresses that they "need the public’s help to keep our system clean and safe" and encourages everyone to practice good hygeine, so the agency can "continue to ensure that our system remains as safe and clean as possible."

There's a lot more to read on the topic:

    • Vice stresses that, "People think public transportation is a much bigger cause of pandemics spreading than it actually is."
    • LAist coronavirus transit explainer, including tips for riding
    • Los Angeles Magazine talks with Metro about coronavirus
    • The Verge looks at how transit agencies are responding to coronavirus
    • Foothill Transit facts and advice on coronavirus and riding transit
    • Jarrett Walker has advice for transit agencies looking to reduce service due to reduced ridership
    • Curbed looks into how to make sure the virus doesn't devastate unhoused populations

Readers - how is the coronavirus affecting your commutes?

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